National League notebook -- Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Arizona: RHP Daniel Hudson (elbow) is expected to receive a second opinion on his torn ulnar collateral ligament from noted specialist Dr. Lewis Yocum today, after which a decision will made on whether to proceed with Tommy John surgery. The first diagnosis was a complete tear. ... 3B Josh Bell was optioned to Class AAA Reno to make room for RHP Trevor Bauer on the roster, getting the D-backs back to their normal balance of 13 position players and 12 pitchers.

Atlanta: CF Michael Bourn has stolen at least 20 bases for five consecutive seasons. Since the start of the 2008 season, he led all major-leaguers with 235 stolen bases through Wednesday. ... IF Jack Wilson has lost playing time since Andrelton Simmons took over at shortstop. Simmons went into Thursday's game with nine multi-hit games, seven of them in his last 12 games, and had four multi-RBI games.

Chicago: 2B Darwin Barney has not made an error since April 17. His errorless streak stands at 62 games and 507 1/3 innings. The last Cubs middle infielder with a longer errorless streak was Mike Fontenot, with a 90-gamer over 2008-09. ... RF Bryan LaHair and 1B Anthony Rizzo both are left-handed hitters, but Rizzo will be in the lineup against lefties, manager Dale Sveum said. LaHair often sits against lefties, against whom he's hitting .086.

Cincinnati: 2B Brandon Phillips, who left Wednesday's game for precautionary reasons after he was hit in the head when he was caught stealing, was back in the lineup. Phillips complained of dizziness after he was hit. ... The Reds have used only 29 players this season. That's the fewest in the majors.

Colorado: RF Michael Cuddyer, who had seven hits in his last 51 at-bats and was 2-for-12 in the first three games of the Washington series, was given a start off to regroup. "We are doing him a service, and the ballclub a service, by allowing him to get away from it for a day," manager Jim Tracy said. However, Cuddyer got into the game late as a defensive replacement at first base. ... 3B Jordan Pacheco wasn't in the lineup because of soreness in his left quadriceps, which has bothered him off and on recently.

Houston: 2B Jose Altuve (right hamstring) could return Saturday, but that's hardly a sure thing given that he was still a bit gimpy in drills. "When we talk to him and we watch him, we see that it's not quite 100 percent," manager Brad Mills said. ... The Astros are going with a six-man rotation until the All-Star break. "What really swung it for me was ... (not) having the three right-handers in a row and the three left-handers in a row," Mills said. "This way it mixes up just a little bit."

Los Angeles: The Dodgers and Cuban outfielder Yasiel Puig agreed to a seven-year, $42 million contract, according to ESPN Los Angeles. The agreement exceeds the total value of recent deals signed by Cuban outfielders Yeonis Cespedes (four years, $36 million) and Jorge Soler (nine years, $27 million). ... RF Andre Ethier's MRI showed a strain in his left side, as expected, but he was able to avoid the disabled list. Manager Don Mattingly said Ethier is day-to-day. ... OF/1B Scott Van Slyke was recalled from Class AAA Albuquerque, and IF Ivan De Jesus was sent down. Van Slyke hit .194 (6-for-31) with one home run in 17 games in his first stint with the Dodgers in May. Since returning to Class AAA, he has hit .310 with five doubles and one home run in 15 games.

Miami: RF Giancarlo Stanton leads the Marlins with 17 home runs but has only four in June after hitting 12 in May to win the National League Player of the Month award. ... RHP Josh Johnson has allowed just three runs in 13 innings over his last two starts going into his outing tonight, but he is 0-1 because the Marlins scored a total of one run in those games.

Milwaukee: RF Nyjer Morgan had a brief altercation with a fan Wednesday in Cincinnati in the ninth inning when he tried to catch a foul ball that carried into the stands. Morgan downplayed the incident and manager Ron Roenicke said it was no big deal. "That's what the fans are supposed to do for the home team," Roenicke said of the fan getting in the way of a catch. ... 3B Aramis Ramirez, who got off to a slow start in April and early May, is batting .325 with seven homers and 25 RBI in his last 30 games.

New York: The Mets' 17-1 rout of the Cubs on Wednesday was just the fourth game in major league history in which four teammates (David Wright, Ike Davis, Scott Hairston and Daniel Murphy) all drove in at least four runs, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. ... CF Andres Torres had stolen at least one base in a career-best four consecutive games through Wednesday, swiping a total of five bags over that span. Torres had stolen just two bases over his previous 43 games.

Philadelphia: RH reliever Chad Qualls was designated for assignment, LH reliever Joe Savery was sent to Class AAA Lehigh Valley (Allentown, Pa.) and LH relievers Jeremy Horst and Brian Sanches were called up from Lehigh Valley. Opponents were hitting .302 against Qualls, who said he has asked GM Ruben Amaro Jr. to be traded. ... 2B Chase Utley, who made his season debut Wednesday, was not in the lineup Thursday. Manager Charlie Manuel has said Utley, who is returning from chronic knee pain, will not play more than three games consecutively. Utley played for Lehigh Valley on Tuesday.

Pittsburgh: RF Jose Tabata is in jeopardy of being sent to the minors because of his .226 average and generally spaced-out play, according to manager Clint Hurdle. "One thing you can bring every day is your attitude and your effort," Hurdle said. "I demand that, and I think we've had some disconnects with that." ... RHP Brad Lincoln, moved back to the bullpen over the weekend, still might get a spot start, Hurdle said. That makes it sound unlikely that anyone would be promoted from Class AAA Indianapolis in the event of a sudden need.

St. Louis: C Yadier Molina already is in range of surpassing his career highs for home runs (14) and runs batted in (65), both established last year. Molina is at 12 and 44, and his average of .316 is also better than his career-best .305 last season. ... RF Carlos Beltran is just seven RBI off his total of 66 in 2011 and already has hit five more homers (20 to 15).

San Diego: RH reliever Brad Brach was sent to Class AAA Tucson to make room on the roster for RHP Andrew Cashner, who was recalled to start Thursday's game. ... The Padres used 13 different starting pitchers in their first 75 games. That equals the most over the time span in the major leagues over the last 48 seasons. Other teams in that span to use that many were the 1964 Mets, 1989 Mariners and 1992 Phillies.

San Francisco: 2B Freddy Sanchez "is not close" to a rehab stint, according to manager Bruce Bochy. Bochy told reporters that the team has not lost hope that Sanchez, who has been out for more than a year with a dislocated right shoulder, will return this year. ... RH reliever Sergio Romo earned his fourth save Wednesday and lowered his ERA to 0.83 and opponents' batting average .135. He's among the league leaders in the latter two categories.

Washington: LF Michael Morse left the game in the eighth inning when his right hamstring tightened. Manager Davey Johnson told reporters he had planned to rest Morse but put him in the lineup when Morse said he was OK. ... OF Bryce Harper had his second consecutive two-hit game although he also struck out three more times. Before that he had struck out 15 times in 48 at-bats.

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