Wells to have appeal heard Wednesday

Updated: August 24, 2005, 1:55 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Boston Red Sox: Left-hander David Wells, suspended six games after a July 3 ejection at Fenway Park, will have his appeal heard by Major League Baseball on Wednesday, The Boston Globe reported.

Wells was ejected by second base umpire Chris Guccione after turning his back and yelling a profanity at home plate umpire Larry Poncino.

"I don't think I should be suspended because I never should have gotten thrown out of the game," Wells told the paper. "The guy [Poncino] started it. I walked away from a confrontation and get thrown out? That's a joke."

• Nixon activated from DL: Trot Nixon was activated from the 15-day disabled list, finishing his recovery from a strained left oblique in time to start the opener of a three-game set with the Kansas City Royals.

The 31-year-old right fielder was placed on the disabled list July 27 after sustaining the injury while swinging the bat in Tampa Bay. At the time, he was hitting .293 with 11 home runs and 50 RBI in 89 games.

In two rehab appearances at Triple-A Pawtucket, Nixon was 3-for-6 with a homer and two RBI. He is a career .281 hitter with 123 home runs in 833 games, all with the Red Sox.

In a related move, Boston optioned left-hander Lenny DiNardo to Pawtucket. The 25-year-old lefthander had a 10.80 ERA in three relief appearances this year.

Atlanta Braves: Left-hander Mike Hampton was placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday night by the Atlanta Braves because of a back injury.

It is the fourth trip to the disabled list this season for Hampton, the second because of back problems. Hampton, 5-3 with a 3.50 ERA in 12 starts, had been scheduled to start Wednesday's game against the Chicago Cubs.

Right-hander Jorge Sosa, 8-2 with a 2.63 ERA, is to replace Hampton and make his 13th start.

Pittsburgh Pirates: Pirates second baseman Jose Castillo will miss the rest of the season with a torn medial collateral ligament in his left knee but won't require surgery that might have kept him from being ready next spring.

Castillo was hurt Monday night when St. Louis infielder Hector Luna's hard slide took him out as he was turning a double play in the third inning. Luna's right foot appeared to clip Castillo's left leg as the second baseman leaped to get out of the runner's way.

An MRI test Tuesday revealed the tear, but Pirates general manager Dave Littlefield said doctors told him the injury can heal with rest, therapy and rehabilitation. Castillo will wear a hard cast on his leg for several weeks and then begin to rehabilitate the injury.

"I'm happy because there's no operation for my knee, so that's good," Castillo said.

The Pirates expect the 24-year-old Castillo to be 100 percent for the start of spring training in February, though he probably can't play winter ball in his native Venezuela.

To replace Castillo, McClendon plans to use a combination of Rob Mackowiak, Freddy Sanchez and the just-recalled Ty Wigginton at second and third. Both Mackowiak and Sanchez can play either position.

New York Mets: The Mets activated Steve Trachsel from the disabled list returning the 11-year veteran to the rotation for the first time this season.

Manager Willie Randolph said the right-hander will start Friday, when the Mets begin a three-game series at San Francisco.

That will involve moving back the next scheduled start of Kris Benson two days. Benson (9-5) was scheduled to pitch Friday but won't take the mound again until Sunday -- a week after he got two outs in the shortest outing of his career -- a 7-4 loss to Washington.

To open a roster spot, the Mets designated right-handed reliever Danny Graves for assignment.

Trachsel had surgery in Los Angeles on March 19 to repair a herniated disc in his back and was placed on the 60-day disabled list March 30. He said his recovery was complete.

The 34-year-old Trachsel had a 12-13 record and 4.00 ERA in 33 starts last year, his 10th straight season with at least 28 starts. His career record is 118-131, including 50-47 since he joined the Mets in 2001.

Graves lost out in the numbers game to rookie Mike Jacobs, who homered Sunday in his first major league at-bat and made his second start at first base Tuesday night against the Arizona Diamondbacks despite going 0-for-4 on Monday.

Chicago Cubs: Cubs shortsop Nomar Garciaparra may be headed back to the disabled list, this time with back spasms.

Garciaparra, who spent 3½ months on the DL with a groin injury, did not start for the fourth time in five games.

"He knows himself pretty well," manager Dusty Baker said. "We've got to make a decision, probably tonight or tomorrow. We can't go short-handed."

Garciaparra, who had two hits Sunday against Colorado after missing the previous two games, was available to pinch hit Monday night. Still weakened by groin surgery, Garciaparra's pain mounted when St. Louis pitcher Julian Tavarez drilled him a week-and-a-half ago.

"I came back quickly, worked hard, built my strength up, and I was doing great," he said. "Getting hit there might have added to the whole thing. I think all those things come into play."

The five-time All-Star, eligible to become a free agent after this season, is batting .247 with two homers and eight RBIs.

"It's frustrating," he said. "I came back, worked hard, did everything I could to get myself back out there. I was feeling good. Things happen."

Baltimore Orioles: The Orioles placed Daniel Cabrera on the 15-day disabled list, hopeful that an extended rest will enable the struggling right-hander to regain the form he showed earlier this season.

Cabrera has a lower back strain, an injury he received while warming up for a start on Aug. 17 in Oakland. He is 8-11 with a 5.00 ERA, and is 0-4 since winning his first start after the All-Star break.

Cabrera went 12-8 for the Orioles last season as a rookie.

"In ways, Daniel has improved and advanced, and in other ways I think he's gone a little backward," interim manager Sam Perlozzo said. "Mentally, he's still a youngster out there trying to pitch in the big leagues."

Perlozzo said it became apparent that Cabrera would need a few side sessions for his back to improve, so the Orioles opted to put him on the DL. Baltimore recalled reliever Chris Ray from Double-A Bowie to take his place on the roster.

With Cabrera and Sidney Ponson (calf and thumb) on the disabled list, the Orioles' rotation now includes Eric DuBose and rookie John Maine. DuBose made his second start of the season Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Angels, with Maine available in long relief.

Ray was with Baltimore for nearly two months this season, going 0-3 with a 2.96 ERA in 21 games before being optioned to Bowie on Aug. 9.

James Baldwin, acquired on waivers from Texas on Monday, is expected to join the team on Wednesday. The Orioles will make a corresponding move at that time.

Baltimore also expects to activate outfielder B.J. Surhoff from the disabled list Wednesday. Rookie Alejandro Freire is the likely candidate to be sent to the minors to make room for Surhoff, who has been sidelined with a strained groin since Aug. 9.

Minnesota Twins: Twins left fielder Shannon Stewart left Tuesday night's game against the Chicago White Sox in the fourth inning after straining his left shoulder running into the outfield wall to make a tough catch.

Stewart tracked down Paul Konerko's drive in the gap and hit his arm hard against the padding. He threw the ball back to the infield quickly before doubling over in pain, clutching his shoulder. After being tended to by manager Ron Gardenhire and a team trainer, Stewart walked slowly off the field with his head down.

The team said Stewart would have X-rays and be re-evaluated on Wednesday.

Michael Ryan replaced Stewart for the Twins, who are missing center fielder Torii Hunter for probably the remainder of the regular season with a broken left ankle. Also, regular right fielder Jacque Jones is expected to miss games Wednesday and Thursday to attend a family funeral.

Milwaukee Brewers: Rick Helling has supplanted hard-luck right-hander Victor Santos in the Brewers' pitching rotation.

Helling, who will start Saturday against Atlanta, was 1-0 with a 3.52 ERA in eight relief appearances since the Brewers purchased his contract from Triple-A Nashville, where he went 9-3 with a 4.13 ERA in 21 starts.

The 10-year major league veteran has played for Florida, Texas, Arizona and Baltimore.

"I like the savvy that Rick takes to the mound," manager Ned Yost said.

Helling was impaled in his left arm by a piece of a broken bat while making a start for the Sounds on May 27 but was not badly injured and was able to make his next scheduled start.

Santos (4-12, 4.57 ERA) has mostly been the victim of poor run support this season, but Yost decided to demote him after a bad outing Sunday in Houston, where he was tagged for seven runs on nine hits and didn't get out of the fourth in an 8-3 loss to the previously sputtering Astros.

"We were kind of waiting for Victor to get it turned around. We gave him every opportunity," Yost said.

Santos refused to talk to reporters Tuesday night before the Brewers played the Florida Marlins.

San Diego Padres: Padres right-hander Adam Eaton is scheduled to come off the disabled list on Friday and start against the Colorado Rockies.

Eaton has been on the DL twice since straining a tendon in his right middle finger in his last start, against the Detroit Tigers on June 15.

He was on the DL from June 16 to July 31, came off and made two appearances in relief and then went back on the DL in order to make three rehab starts in the minors.

"The finger's great," Eaton said Tuesday. "It feels like nothing has happened. There are still some times where it's a little stiff, but I was able to get through all three starts in the minor leagues, and in between its gotten better and better since then. I feel comfortable throwing all my pitches."

Not only will the Padres have to clear a roster spot for Eaton, but one starter will get knocked out of the rotation and into the bullpen.

Pedro Astacio could be pushed back because he felt something under his right arm in his last start.

Los Angeles Dodgers: Former major league shortstop Maury Wills has the backing of both houses of the California Legislature in his quest to gain election to baseball's Hall of Fame.

Wills, best known for his 1962 season when he stole a then-record 104 bases for the Dodgers and was named the National League MVP, recalled for lawmakers his first days as a rookie in 1959.

"We played in the Coliseum then, that had over 94,000 people," Wills said in a brief appearance Monday in the Assembly. "Prior to that, the biggest crowd I played in front of was about 1,500. And if you can imagine the sound of 94,000 people chanting 'Go, go, go Maury go,' I knew I had a home."

The resolution, passed by both the Assembly and the Senate, notes Wills' lengthy career that included more than 2,000 hits, seven All-Star appearances and two Gold Glove awards. After he retired, Wills became only the third black manager in baseball history.

California lawmakers called on the veterans committee of the Baseball Hall of Fame to consider Wills' induction.

St. Louis Cardinals: Second baseman Mark Grudzielanek's infected knee was better Monday and manager Tony La Russa is hopeful he can return to the lineup by Thursday in Pittsburgh.

"The early indications were that we might lose him for a couple of weeks," La Russa told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "But the antibotics seem to be working."

Grudzielanek was hospitalized over the weekend and did not make the Sunday night flight to Pittsburgh.

Grudzielanek had previously hurt the knee, and the infection developed after he slid safely home on a squeeze play during a 4-2 victory over the Giants on Saturday night.

Washington Nationals: The Nationals put right-hander Ryan Drese on the 15-day disabled list with an injured shoulder and recalled reliever Travis Hughes from Triple-A New Orleans after Tuesday night's 6-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds.

Drese, 0-5 in his past six starts, had an MRI on Tuesday.

Hughes, a right-hander, is 2-4 with 12 saves and a 2.65 ERA in 49 appearances at New Orleans this season.

In four relief appearances with Washington earlier this season, he was 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA over 4 1/3 innings.

Cleveland Indians: Brian Tallet was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo.

The club also optioned right-hander Andrew Brown to the Bisons.

Tallet has made one appearance for the Indians this season. The left-hander pitched 2 1/3 innings in Cleveland's 13-7 win at Kansas City on Aug. 9 when the Indians scored 11 runs in the ninth inning.

He went 6-5 with a 4.27 ERA in 20 games at Buffalo.

Brown was recalled from Buffalo on Aug. 20 and did not make an appearance.

Information from The Associated Press and SportsTicker was used in this report.

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