MLB notes: Reds giving Aroldis Chapman time off
Reds closer Aroldis Chapman pitches against the Astros at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio, Sept. 28, 2010. (MATT SULLIVAN/Reuters)
Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman is battling shoulder fatigue and needs a break from pitching, manager Dusty Baker said Tuesday.
"He was analyzed by a doctor," Baker said. "The doctor said his shoulder is fatigued. We've got to take care of him."
Chapman, 24, has compiled impressive statistics this season: A 5-5 record with a 1.60 earned-run average and 35 saves. But in recent games his 100 m.p.h. fastball has dipped into the mid-90s and he has walked three and given up three runs in his past 1 2/3 innings.
VALENTINE 'BEST MAN'
Bobby Valentine expects to return next season as Boston Red Sox manager, saying Tuesday he hasn't been bothered about speculation he would be fired.
"I'm the best man for the job," Valentine said after being asked why he should be back as manager in 2013. "Was that a tough question, by the way?"
The Red Sox took a 63-78 record into their game Tuesday night against the New York Yankees, on track for their worst season since 1966. That has led to talk of Valentine being dismissed before next season.
"I haven't lost any sleep (over the speculation) only because when I get to bed I'm worn out," he said. "These games have worn me out, to tell you the truth, very often."
WRIGHT TIME FOR METS?
The New York Mets want to discuss a contract extension for star third baseman David Wright but will wait until after the season to initiate talks.
"I think it would be premature to talk about it until we have a full conversation," Mets COO Jeff Wilpon told Newsday. "It's only September, so we've got time for the off-season. We've still got to win some more games down the stretch."
Wright, 29, was hitting .313 with 17 homers and 80 RBI entering play Tuesday night.
The Mets hold a $16 million option on Wright's contract that they will almost certainly exercise. The club hopes to get a deal done in the offseason; Wright prefers to avoid mid-season contract talks. If the Mets and Wright don't finish a deal before the start of the 2013 season, Wright will be one of the premier names on the trade market.
ORIOLES TO PART WITH GREGG
The Baltimore Orioles have designated reliever Kevin Gregg and infielder Ryan Adams for assignment to create 40-man roster space for Endy Chavez and L.J. Hoes, whose contracts have been selected from triple-A Norfolk.
Gregg, 34, hasn't rewarded the Orioles for the two-year, $10-million contract they gave him after the 2010 season, when he was the Toronto Blue Jays closer.
The right-hander has a 4.74 earned-run average in 40 games this season. Adams, 25, has spent the entire season in the minors.
WEAVER READY TO GO
Right-hander Jered Weaver said he is ready to return to the Los Angeles Angels rotation after throwing an aggressive bullpen session.
The Angels tentatively have scheduled their ace to pitch Thursday against the Oakland Athletics. Weaver has been out since Sept. 2 because of tendinitis in his right biceps.
"I'm looking forward to getting back out there," Weaver said. "It seems like it's behind me so far. (The injury) didn't 'bite' at all in the bullpen. It's heading in the right direction."
PHILLIPS, HUGHES MAKE PEACE
Cincinnati's Brandon Phillips and Pittsburgh's Jared Hughes have patched up their differences the day after the Reds second baseman alleged that he had been racially abused.
"Not really surprised by what I heard come outta another player's mouth but damn ... racism," Phillips tweeted after the game.
Phillips and the Pirates' Hughes had exchanged heated words after the pitcher hit the infielder with a pitch in the eighth inning Monday night.
Hughes and Phillips talked on the phone Tuesday and put the issue to rest, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported.
Tampa Bay Rays left-hander David Price said after throwing a bullpen session Tuesday that he would be set to start Friday. A sore shoulder kept Price from pitching as scheduled last Saturday ... First baseman Lance Berkman will undergo additional surgery on his right knee Friday, ending his season and perhaps his career, the St. Louis Cardinals have announced. Berkman had knee surgery in May, but follow-up MRIs have determined the meniscus in the knee needed to be shaved. Berkman, 36, has had only 80 at-bats this season ... Triple-A manager Ryne Sandberg is a "nearly sure bet" to succeed Charlie Manuel as Philadelphia Phillies manager, but it won't be before next season, CBSSports.com reported. Manuel, 68, is under contract for 2013 ... Oakland pitcher Brandon McCarthy was released from hospital Tuesday, less than a week after needing surgery because of a fractured skull and an epidural hemorrhage. The 29-year-old was hit on the head by a batted ball last Wednesday ... The Houston Astros have released reliever Francisco Cordero, who has been a flop since being obtained in a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays on July 20. Cordero, 37, had a 19.80 ERA in six games for the Astros before going on the disabled list. He hasn't pitched since Aug. 1.