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Chris Cwik chat transcript (5/9)

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Player News
Phillies manager eyeing platoon with Ryan Howard
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(12:01 pm ET) Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard was out of the lineup for the second game in a row Thursday against the Giants in favor of Darin Ruf, and manager Ryan Sandberg told MLB.com this might become a recurring theme.

"The way I see things," Sandberg said. "I basically wanted to give Ruf two days in a row, just to get his feet wet, see him against a right-handed pitcher, then go from there. But in all likelihood, at least after today it will be a scenario of ... I'd be considering a platoon system at first base."

Howard was actually out of the lineup against a right-handed pitcher Thursday, but Sandberg said he wanted to give Darin Ruf two consecutive starts after his callup. The Phillies face two left-handed pitchers during a three-game series against the Diamondbacks beginning Friday, so Sandberg may also get him some time off then.

Howard is struggling against both right and left-handed pitchers this season, but has 10 of his 15 home runs against righties. He is hitting .229/.314/.368 against righties, compared to .209/.275/.407 vs. the opposite hand. 


Angel Pagan hits soft toss Thursday
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(11:59 am ET) Giants outfielder Angel Pagan took another small step forward in his recovery from a back injury Thursday, as he was able to hit soft toss before the team's game.

Pagan took swings off a tee for the first time earlier in the week, want was able to move on to hitting balls tossed to him by coaches Thursday. He remains without a concrete timetable to return, and it is not yet clear when he is expected to take on live pitching for the first time. 


Masahiro Tanaka feeling less pain
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(11:22 am ET) Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka is starting to feel less pain in his elbow, general manager Brian Cashman said on ESPN Radio. 

"He’s improved, but he still feels it, although on a daily basis it decreases," Cashman said. "So that’s good, but it’s not good that he’s still feeling it at this stage. So it’s just day-by-day, week-by-week and we’ll adjust accordingly. It’s too early to call."

Tanaka went on the DL on July 9 with right elbow inflammation and a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. He won't try to throw for two more weeks, manager Joe Girardi said.


Mark Teixeira could be placed on DL
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(11:08 am ET) Yankees manager Joe Girardi said the team will decide Friday whether to put first baseman Mark Teixeira on the disabled list, reports the Wall Street Journal. Teixeira will miss his fourth straight game Thursday with a strained lat.

Rangers change course, scratch Nick Tepesch
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(11:02 am ET) The Rangers reversed course and scratched pitcher Nick Tepesch from his scheduled start Friday against the Athletics, reports MLB.com. Tepesch relieved Tuesday and threw 12 pitches in 1/3 of an inning. 

Texas has not announced Tepesch's replacement.


Joe Panik unable to return for series finale Thursday
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10:53 am ET) Giants infielder Joe Panik was out of the starting lineup yet again Thursday against the Phillies, as he continues to deal with a sprained ankle suffered Tuesday. He remains day to day at this point, with the Giants opening a weekend series against the Dodgers Friday. 

Jake Smolinski still out of the lineup
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(10:48 am ET) Rangers outfielder Jake Smolinski remained out of the lineup Thursday against the Yankees. He has not played since Monday, when he fouled a ball off his left foot.

Jon Lester contract talks put off until after the season
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(10:42 am ET) The Red Sox and pitcher Jon Lester won't have further discussions about a contract extension until after the season, reports the Boston Herald. Team owner John Henry sent this email to the paper:

"I’m not going to discuss Jon’s situation out of respect for both Jon and (general manager) Ben (Cherington) other than to say that both sides have put further discussion off until after the season. It’s clear that both Jon and our organization would like to see Jon back next year if possible."

Lester, whose deal expires at season's end, said earlier he didn't want his contract talks to become a distraction for the team. He's 10-7 with a 2.50 ERA in 20 starts.


Mark Teixeira remains on the shelf
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(10:35 am ET) Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira was out of the lineup for the fourth straight day Thursday due to a strained lat. He went 0 for 12 with a walk following the All-Star break before taking a seat.

Jed Lowrie goes deep
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(10:30 am ET) Athletics shortstop Jed Lowrie cracked his fifth homer in Wednesday's 9-7 win over the Astros. Lowrie's second-inning solo shot gave him 39 RBI this season. He's hitting .238/.318/.351 in 353 at-bats.

 
 
 
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