MLB Notes: Votto back on DL with leg injury

MLB Notes: Votto back on DL with leg injury
July 8, 2014, 1:15 pm
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Joey Votto, who was placed on the disabled list with a thigh injury on Tuesday, is hitting just .255 with six home runs and 23 RBIs this season. (USA Today Images)

CINCINNATI -- The Reds place first baseman Joey Votto back on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with a nagging thigh injury that is expected to limit him for the rest of the season.

Catcher Brayan Pena was activated off the paternity list before a doubleheader against the Chicago Cubs. Pena will be a primary fill-in at first base while Votto is gone.

The Reds are talking about trading for an experienced first baseman as a backup. Nobody else on the roster has much experience at first. Outfielder Jay Bruce made his first appearance there since high school on Monday night.

Votto earlier missed 23 games while on the DL with a strained muscle above his left knee. Tests found he has aggravated the injury.

"Our plan of attack will be to do everything we can to get him back to play over the course of the year," manager Bryan Price said. "We don't have a timetable on how long that will be, but the goal is to get him back and able to help us before the year is out." (see full story)

All-Star Game: Idina Menzel to sing national anthem
NEW YORK -- Idina Menzel is bringing Broadway to baseball.

The Tony-winning performer will sing the national anthem at the MLB All-Star Game on July 15 in Minneapolis. Menzel will also perform during the pre-game ceremony, including a cover of Bob Dylan's "Forever Young."

The game at Target Field will air on Fox, where country singer Joe Nichols will sing "God Bless America."

MLB All-Star week will also include a Saturday concert by Grammy-winning rockers Imagine Dragons at the TCF Bank Stadium.

A day later, Panic! At the Disco will perform at the All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game at Target Field.

Singer-songwriter Aloe Blacc will hit the stage at the Home Run Derby on July 14. It will air on ESPN.

Indians: Masterson placed on DL 
CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians have placed pitcher Justin Masterson on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his right knee Tuesday.

Masterson, the team's opening day starter, is 4-6 with a 5.51 ERA.

The right-hander allowed five runs and six hits in two-plus innings Monday against the New York Yankees, and was pulled without retiring a batter in the third. He walked three, hit a batter and rarely topped 90 mph in his 54 pitches, throwing only 24 strikes.

Masterson has given up 19 runs, 27 hits and 17 walks in 18 innings over his last five starts. He has pitched more than four innings once in that stretch.

Dodgers: Beckett goes on DL
DETROIT -- The Los Angeles Dodgers have put pitcher Josh Beckett on the 15-day disabled list with a left hip impingement.

The right-hander pitched five scoreless innings in a win at Colorado on Sunday, but was removed after just 82 pitches. Beckett began the season on the DL with a right thumb contusion, but has made each of his 17 starts since then, going 6-5 with a 2.26 ERA.

The team on Tuesday recalled right-handed reliever Pedro Baez from Triple-A Albuquerque.

Baez was previously recalled for a game on May 5 at Washington, and allowed two runs on two hits in one inning of relief in his major league debut.

Royals: Saunders signs minor league deal
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Royals have signed veteran left-hander Joe Saunders, who was released by the Rangers last week, to a minor league contract and plan to assign him to Triple-A Omaha.

The Royals announced the move before their game Tuesday night at Tampa Bay.

The 33-year-old Saunders was 0-5 with a 6.13 ERA in eight starts for the Rangers before he was released on Friday. He also made four starts for their minor league affiliates.

Saunders was an All-Star with the Angels in 2008, when he won 17 games. But he's bounced around the league the last few seasons, spending time with the Diamondbacks, Orioles, Mariners and Rangers. He is 89-86 with a 4.35 ERA in 10 seasons.

Astros: Presley to DL
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Houston Astros outfielder Alex Presley has been put on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right oblique.

The Astros made the move before Tuesday night's game. Presley got hurt while swinging during an at-bat in the eighth inning of the series opener at Texas on Monday night.

Outfielder Robbie Grossman was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City. Grossman was in the starting lineup against the Rangers, batting second and playing right field. This is his third stint in the majors this season.

Presley had a homer in Monday night's win before having to leave in the middle of an at-bat.

Cardinals: Garcia to undergo surgery
ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia will undergo thoracic outlet surgery Friday to relieve nerve issues in his pitching arm, shoulder and hand.

General manager John Mozeliak said Tuesday that Garcia considered the operation his last viable option. The announcement was made on Garcia's 28th birthday.

The Cardinals had already ruled Garcia out for the year and were initially surprised by the pitcher's decision to have the procedure instead of exhausting other treatment options. Garcia is having the surgery done by Dr. Robert Thompson of St. Louis.

Garcia also consulted with Gregory Pearl, who did the same surgery on former teammate Chris Carpenter. The surgery wasn't a long-term success from a baseball standpoint for Carpenter, who retired at age 38 after pitching just six more games.

Twins: Nolasco headed to 15-day DL
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins placed struggling right-hander Ricky Nolasco on the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday with a strained right elbow.

The Twins announced the move one day after Nolasco left the team in Seattle to return to Minnesota for an examination.

The Twins signed Nolasco to a $49 million, four-year deal in the offseason to bolster one of the league's worst starting rotations. But he is 5-7 with a 5.90 ERA in 18 starts this season.

Nolasco told the Twins on Monday he has been pitching through discomfort in his elbow all season.

"It's good there is no major thing here, nothing structurally too awful bad. Now it's about getting the soreness out, getting the stiffness out, time probably better than anything else and we'll see. We'll see where it goes from there," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Let him take some time, do some treatment with the trainers and see how he responds to that. Obviously the throwing is not making it better."

The Twins recalled catcher/outfielder Chris Herrmann from Triple-A Rochester. Gardenhire did not announce how they would replace Nolasco in the rotation. He was scheduled to make his next start this weekend in Colorado against the Rockies.

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