Cubs call up Williams for start

Updated: June 22, 2005, 1:08 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Chicago Cubs: Jerome Williams was recalled from Triple-A Iowa to start Tuesday night for the Cubs against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Williams picked up the win Tuesday, allowing two runs and three hits in seven innings. He walked four and struck out a season-high six.

To make room for Williams, the Cubs sent left-hander Cliff Bartosh outright to Iowa.

Williams was acquired from San Francisco on May 28 with pitcher David Aardsma for reliever LaTroy Hawkins and cash. Williams went 1-1 with a 2.22 ERA for Iowa. The right-hander appeared in four games and made three starts for the Giants this season before being optioned to Triple-A Fresno.

The 23-year-old Williams is 17-14 with a 3.93 ERA in 47 major league games, including 46 starts.

Texas Rangers: The Rangers released right-hander Pedro Astacio, four days after designating the 14-year veteran for assignment.

Astacio, 35, was one of two starters the Rangers deleted from their rotation this month. Ryan Drese was designated for assignment on June 8, and was claimed two days later by the Washington Nationals.

Astacio was 2-8 with a 6.04 ERA in 12 starts for Texas. He had lost seven of his last eight decisions before the team cut him loose and replaced him in the rotation with lefty C.J. Wilson.

Before signing with Texas in February, Astacio had made just one start since undergoing shoulder surgery in 2003. He got an $800,000, one-year contract and earned only $175,000 of the potential $2.2 million in roster and performance bonuses included in the contract.

"Pedro for a while was one of the top pitchers in the National League," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia, who caught Astacio at the beginning of his major league career with the Dodgers. "What impressed me about him was that he was fearless in the first game he pitched as he was in his last game. He had great stuff and was a great competitor."

Philadelphia Phillies: Right-handed pitcher Vicente Padilla will miss Wednesday night's game because of an inflammed muscle in his neck.

Robinson Tejeda is scheduled to start Wednesday night, and Cory Lidle on Thursday afternoon, the team said. Jon Lieber is the probable starter for Friday's series opener against the Boston Red Sox, and Brett Meyers on Sunday. Saturday's starting pitcher had not been determined as of Tuesday night, the team said.

Padilla's injury was an inflammation of his levator scapulae, a muscle on the left side of the neck attached to the clavicle.

Also, the team said that left-handed pitcher Randy Wolf, who is on the 15-day disabled list, is scheduled to meet with Dr. Michael Ciccotti on Wednesday about his left elbow.

New York Yankees: The Yankees recalled Scott Proctor from Triple-A Columbus to provide temporary relief for an overworked bullpen.

To make room on the roster, the Yankees optioned outfielder Bubba Crosby to Columbus even though Hideki Matsui (twisted ankle) is limited to duty as a designated hitter and Bernie Williams is playing with sore shoulders.

"He's the only guy we could send back," manager Joe Torre said.

Torre thinks it will be a while before Matsui can play the outfield again, so Proctor probably won't stay in the big leagues for long.

"At this juncture, with Matsui still limping, we'll be better served with having an outfielder," Torre said.

Yankees ink first pick: The Yankees signed shortstop C.J. Henry, their first-round draft pick, to a contract that includes a bonus of more than $1.5 million. Henry went through his first full workout with the Yankees' Gulf Coast League team and is expected to make his pro debut Friday.

"It really hasn't sunk in yet that I get to play baseball every day," Henry said. "I'm sure a couple weeks into it I'll start getting used to it and say, wow, I'm actually part of the Yankee organization."

As the 17th overall pick, Henry, 19, was the Yankees' highest first-round selection since 1993, when they had the 13th pick.

Cleveland Indians: Trevor Crowe didn't want to waste any time in contract negotiations with the Indians.

The switch-hitting outfielder signed a deal Tuesday, just two weeks after Cleveland selected him No. 14 overall in the draft.

"When I was 8 years old playing catch with my dad, I never said, 'Man, I want to be a millionaire.' I always said I wanted to play in the big leagues, so the first step to doing that is getting on the field and going through the struggles of a minor league season," he said.

Crowe will report to Class-A Mahoning Valley.

He hit .403 with nine homers and 54 RBI in 60 games this year for the University of Arizona. The 6-foot, 200-pound native of Portland, Ore., had 25 doubles, 15 triples and 27 stolen bases in 33 attempts.

Kansas City Royals: The Royals recalled right-hander Jonah Bayliss from Double-A Wichita on Tuesday, and moved first baseman Ken Harvey to the 60-day disabled list.

Bayliss, 24, has no major league experience and was 1-2 with six saves for Wichita.

"He's going to go in the middle somewhere," Royals manager Buddy Bell said. "Probably earlier in the game than later."

Harvey, an All-Star last season, was put on the 15-day disabled list May 19 because of recurring back problems. In 22 games this season, Harvey is hitting .222 with one home run and five RBI.

Pena ready to coach again: Tony Pena wants to coach the Dominican team in baseball's first World Cup-style tournament next year.

The former Royals manager, who resigned on May 10, has emerged as a primary candidate. Tournament rules prohibit major league managers from coaching national teams, ruling out San Francisco Giants manager Felipe Alou.

"It would be a great honor for me to lead the Dominican Republic's team," Pena told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "Although I'm tired and dealing with family matters, I must admit that I would drop what I'm doing to take up a patriotic responsibility like this one."

The 16-nation World Baseball Classic, featuring the world's top professional baseball players, is scheduled for next March. A launch announcement is expected on July 11.

"Pena is our principal candidate," said Hector Pereyra, the president of the Dominican Baseball Federation.

Pena resigned from the Royals following a major league-worst 8-25 start.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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