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Acuna to make MLB debut for Braves today

MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- Ronald Acuna had to wait a little longer than anticipated, but the much-hyped prospect will now have the chance to display his tremendous talents at the Major League level.

A Major League source said Acuna was informed late Tuesday night he will join the Braves in Cincinnati for Wednesday night's game against the Reds. The 20-year-old outfielder now stands less than 24 hours away from experiencing one of the most anticipated Major League debuts baseball has seen over the past decade.

CINCINNATI -- Ronald Acuna had to wait a little longer than anticipated, but the much-hyped prospect will now have the chance to display his tremendous talents at the Major League level.

A Major League source said Acuna was informed late Tuesday night he will join the Braves in Cincinnati for Wednesday night's game against the Reds. The 20-year-old outfielder now stands less than 24 hours away from experiencing one of the most anticipated Major League debuts baseball has seen over the past decade.

Acuna will serve as Atlanta's starting left fielder and attempt to bolster a lineup that has tallied a National League-high 122 runs without him. The five-tool outfielder ranks second only to Angels rookie sensation Shohei Ohtani on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 prospects list.

It remains to be seen where Braves manager Brian Snitker will place Acuna in the lineup, but there's a possibility he could soon find himself batting behind Freddie Freeman and potential cleanup hitter Jose Bautista, who could join Atlanta's roster later this week.

With Acuna's arrival, Preston Tucker's powerful left-handed bat will be an asset off the bench. Tucker has played a key role in the Braves' early-season success, but he entered the season knowing his starting role could be temporary.

After Acuna dazzled during Spring Training, the anticipation was he might make his big league debut on April 14, which was the earliest date the Braves could have promoted him and secured an extra year of contractual control. But his arrival was delayed, as he went 5-for-36 with 14 strikeouts to start the season with Triple-A Gwinnett.

But Acuna has warmed up of late, with 11 hits, including a homer and double, in his last 33 at-bats. He has battled slow starts in the past, and his latest one might have been influenced by the nine-day dead period that separated his final Spring Training game and Gwinnett's season opener.

Braves fans have been eagerly awaiting Acuna's arrival since he progressed his way from Class A Advanced Florida to Gwinnett last year. He was named MLB Pipeline's Hitter of the Year after he hit .325 with 21 homers, 44 stolen bases and a .896 OPS in 2017.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com.

Atlanta Braves, Ronald Acuna Jr.

Pina faces former club in his return from DL

Brewers option catcher Nottingham to Triple-A Colorado Springs
Special to MLB.com

KANSAS CITY -- Brewers catcher Manny Pina couldn't have picked a more nostalgic place to make his return from a right calf strain. Pina, who was activated from the disabled list before Tuesday night's 5-2 win, spent a lot of time in the Royals' organization from 2009-12.

Pina, who went 0-for-4 in the series opener, has fond memories of his time in which he laid the groundwork for where he is this season as a prominent member of a Brewers team that has designs on a special season.

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KANSAS CITY -- Brewers catcher Manny Pina couldn't have picked a more nostalgic place to make his return from a right calf strain. Pina, who was activated from the disabled list before Tuesday night's 5-2 win, spent a lot of time in the Royals' organization from 2009-12.

Pina, who went 0-for-4 in the series opener, has fond memories of his time in which he laid the groundwork for where he is this season as a prominent member of a Brewers team that has designs on a special season.

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To make room for Pina, the club optioned catcher Jacob Nottingham to Triple-A Colorado Springs.

"Everything is good," Pina said. "I've been feeling good the last three days."

Pina made his Major League debut on Aug. 3, 2011, when the Royals called him up.

"I remember going 2-for-4 and we won the game," Pina said.

Brewers manager Craig Counsell said the club is confident that Pina is physically ready for a reboot after playing 10 games in early April.

Nottingham was 0-for-5 at the plate in his short stint with the Brewers, but Counsell thinks a taste of the Majors will bode well for the young catcher.

"The best part was that he had to catch two games where every pitch was meaningful," Counsell said.

Vogt to swing
Counsell said the next step for Stephen Vogt, recovering from a right shoulder injury, will be getting his swings in Arizona in an extended spring training environment.

"He's leaving [Wednesday] night for Arizona," Counsell said. "He can start getting at-bats."

Arcia ill
Shortstop Orlando Arcia, who tweaked his right ankle on Friday against the Marlins, was set to play on Tuesday, but Counsell scratched him due to a stomach flu episode.

"He would have been in there otherwise," Counsell said.

Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com based in Kansas City.

Milwaukee Brewers, Orlando Arcia, Jacob Nottingham, Manny Pina, Stephen Vogt

Buehler optioned, but likely to start Saturday

Top prospect sent to nearby Rancho Cucamonga; reliever Hudson recalled
MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers demoted top prospect Walker Buehler to Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga on Tuesday, but fans need not worry -- it's just a logistical move.

Buehler fired five scoreless innings against the Marlins in his first MLB start Monday night and was optioned to make room on the roster for reliever Daniel Hudson, bringing the bullpen count back to nine.

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LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers demoted top prospect Walker Buehler to Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga on Tuesday, but fans need not worry -- it's just a logistical move.

Buehler fired five scoreless innings against the Marlins in his first MLB start Monday night and was optioned to make room on the roster for reliever Daniel Hudson, bringing the bullpen count back to nine.

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Hudson worked a perfect seventh inning against the Marlins, striking out two.

On Tuesday, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts wouldn't confirm it (because Buehler is not on the 25-man roster), but the rookie will likely be added as the 26th man to start the first game of Saturday's doubleheader in San Francisco. That's why he was sent to Rancho Cucamonga and not Triple-A Oklahoma City, where Hudson had been pitching.

"To keep him local gives us that option if we want to use him Saturday," Roberts said. "He reported there today, got his work in and we'll see how it plays out."

Rich Hill, who threw a four-inning, 58-pitch simulated game on Tuesday, will come off the disabled list to start Monday in Arizona, followed by Clayton Kershaw on Tuesday, Hyun-Jin Ryu on Wednesday and Alex Wood on Thursday.

"It went well," Hill said of his workout. "Felt fine and got good feedback from the swings."

Hudson was signed by the Dodgers as a free agent on March 30. He made five relief appearances with the OKC Dodgers this season without allowing a hit in 4 2/3 innings, striking out five.

The 31-year-old right-hander, who was traded to Tampa Bay from Pittsburgh on Feb. 22, appeared in seven games with the Rays during Spring Training, allowing nine runs in 5 1/3 innings, with six strikeouts. He was released by Tampa Bay, and will receive $5.5 million this year. The Dodgers will pay only the Major League minimum portion of it.

Roberts compared Hudson's pitch mix to that of current Dodgers reliever JT Chargois. A former starter with the White Sox and D-backs, Hudson missed the second half of the 2012 season and the entire '13 campaign after having two Tommy John elbow reconstructions. He resumed his career at the end of '14 as a reliever. Last year with the Pirates, he went 2-7 with a 4.38 ERA in 71 games.

The Dodgers are looking at Hudson as a possible fill-in for Tom Koehler, who suffered a sprained right shoulder capsule in Spring Training. Koehler was moved to the 60-day disabled list on Monday and is not expected back until around the All-Star break. Koehler was signed in part to replace Brandon Morrow as the primary right-handed set-up man for closer Kenley Jansen.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Walker Buehler, Daniel Hudson

Injury updates: Shackelford, Suarez, Lorenzen

MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- The Reds activated reliever Kevin Shackelford from the 10-day disabled list on Tuesday, designating reliever Kevin Quackenbush for assignment to clear a spot on the 25-man roster.

Shackelford, 29, has been out all season with a right forearm strain he sustained near the end of Spring Training. Five of his first six Cactus League appearances were scoreless, but he allowed five earned runs over his final two appearances and 2 1/3 innings before realizing he was hurt.

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CINCINNATI -- The Reds activated reliever Kevin Shackelford from the 10-day disabled list on Tuesday, designating reliever Kevin Quackenbush for assignment to clear a spot on the 25-man roster.

Shackelford, 29, has been out all season with a right forearm strain he sustained near the end of Spring Training. Five of his first six Cactus League appearances were scoreless, but he allowed five earned runs over his final two appearances and 2 1/3 innings before realizing he was hurt.

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Last season, Shackelford posted a 4.70 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP in 26 appearances for the Reds. He spent most of the season with Triple-A Louisville, where he had a 1.53 ERA in 35 games. During his four-game rehab assignment with Louisville and Double-A Pensacola, Shackelford had a 6.23 ERA.

Quackenbush, 29, had an 11.00 ERA and a 2.11 WHIP over his 10 appearances for the Reds this season after earning a spot in camp as a non-roster invite. In nine innings, he gave up six walks and three home runs with seven strikeouts. In his final game for Cincinnati at St. Louis on Sunday, Quackenbush gave up six earned runs, four hits and two walks during a 9-2 loss.

Quackenbush's removal leaves the Reds with 39 players on their 40-man roster.

Mesoraco scratched
About 90 minutes before Tuesday's game vs. the Cardinals, the Reds scratched catcher Devin Mesoraco from the starting lineup with neck stiffness. Regular catcher Tucker Barnhart, who had been set for a night off, was plugged back into the starting lineup to replace Mesoraco.

Should Mesoraco need a few days, the Reds have no other catchers on their 40-man roster to bring up. Tony Cruz, Stuart Turner and Joe Hudson are currently catching for Louisville.

Suarez plays in rehab game
Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez went 1-for-2 with a double, two walks and a strikeout in four plate appearances in a rehab game with Louisville on Tuesday. Suarez is working his way back from a fractured right thumb, and interim manager Jim Riggleman didn't expect him to need many more games.

"He's such a baseball rat. He's been out here working his tail off right here. He feels like he's really close," Riggleman said. "He'll have something to say about it. Sometimes, you would mandate they go down there for 'X' amount of days. But in his case, I think once he sees some pitches and he's feeling good, we'll see him real soon."

Suarez has been on the 10-day DL since April 9. The day before, vs. the Pirates, he was hit on the hand by a Jameson Taillon pitch.

The Reds' offense, which broke out in a 10-4 win over the Braves on Monday, could use Suarez's contributions. The team has used a combination of veterans Cliff Pennington and Phil Gosselin and rookie Alex Blandino.

"It's been a while, but it hasn't been a real long time," Riggleman said. "We feel like he needs to see some live pitching down there, but not a lot."

Suarez batted third for Louisville and played third base, one spot behind top prospect Nick Senzel, who manned second base.

Bullpen session next for Lorenzen
It will still be a while before injured Reds reliever Michael Lorenzen emerges from the bullpen during a Major League game. But he will throw a bullpen session before Wednesday's game, his first work off a mound since Spring Training. Lorenzen has been out since mid-March because a strained right teres major muscle near his shoulder.

"It's going to be something short, just to get me [going]," Lorenzen said on Tuesday.

After being restricted to long toss for a while, Lorenzen was glad to have graduated to a mound.

"Especially when you should have graduated a while ago," Lorenzen said. "But I'm not an expert in that field -- I am just going off based on how I feel. And it's a good thing that I feel this way."

Hernandez update
Reliever David Hernandez, who has been out since March with right shoulder inflammation, made his second rehab assignment appearance on Monday. Hernandez gave up one earned run and two hits with no walks and one strikeout while throwing 17 pitches.

"I believe he's going to throw one more. He's really close," Riggleman said.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Cincinnati Reds, Michael Lorenzen, Devin Mesoraco, Kevin Quackenbush, Kevin Shackelford, Eugenio Suarez

Hosmer, Villanueva likely out for rest of Rox series

First baseman on family medical leave list, third baseman dealing with hamstring issue; Ross adamant he still has much to prove
MLB.com

DENVER -- The Padres are likely to be without two of their best hitters for the remainder of their series in Colorado.

Eric Hosmer was placed on the family medical leave list before Tuesday's game and isn't expected back until Friday. Christian Villanueva, meanwhile, is battling a tight left hamstring and was held out of the starting lineup for the second straight game.

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DENVER -- The Padres are likely to be without two of their best hitters for the remainder of their series in Colorado.

Eric Hosmer was placed on the family medical leave list before Tuesday's game and isn't expected back until Friday. Christian Villanueva, meanwhile, is battling a tight left hamstring and was held out of the starting lineup for the second straight game.

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"He's feeling a little better," manager Andy Green said of Villanueva. "It's a bitterly cold night out here. ... It just wasn't in his best interest or our best interest to push him today."

Green didn't get into the specifics of Hosmer's situation. But he noted that Villanueva's injury could require a bit of prudence, ahead of Thursday's off-day.

"We just want to make sure he gets this behind him," Green said. "Then it probably leads to the question: If we don't play him tonight, is it even smart to play him tomorrow, because we get the off-day as well? Probably better judgement would prevail, and we'll see him in the lineup again on Friday."

Villanueva -- who hasn't been ruled out as a pinch-hitter -- has been a revelation through the first four weeks of his rookie season. He led the National League with a .355 batting average and a 1.219 OPS at the time of his injury (though he no longer qualifies for those leaderboards).

Hosmer, meanwhile, had been slumping until his breakout performance on Monday night. He reached base in all six plate appearances, becoming the first Padre to do so since Adrian Gonzalez in 2009.

Hosmer's absence, clears a space on the roster for Tuesday's starter Eric Lauer. Left-hander Buddy Baumann was designated for assignment, paving the way for Lauer to be added to the 40-man roster.

Ross eyes an encore
Tyson Ross' near no-hitter in Arizona was the best pitching performance by a Padre this season -- and perhaps much longer than that.

To some, Ross' brilliant outing was the culmination of two years spent fighting his way back from an April 2016 shoulder injury.

Not to Ross. He has bigger goals.

"I haven't achieved anything yet," said Ross, whose encore performance comes Wednesday afternoon at Coors Field. "It's just one good game -- hopefully one of many good games I'll have this season. It's more about continuing to build and grow. I want to get stronger, healthier and keep giving a good effort every five days as we get deeper into June, July, the rest of the season."

Through four starts this season, Ross owns a 2.81 ERA and a WHIP barely above 1. Opponents are hitting just .151 against his slider, which appears as dominant as it's ever been.

Video: Must C Clips: Ross flirts with no-hitter into the 8th

Ross' resurgence is a long time in the making. He spent all of 2016 on the sideline after injuring his shoulder on Opening Day. Following surgery to address thoracic outlet syndrome, Ross latched on with Texas in '17 and slumped to a 7.71 ERA in 12 appearances.

Ross never wavered in his belief he'd return to form, even if the rest of the baseball world did. He ramped up his offseason regimen and signed a Minors deal with the Padres in December. He's adamant that he's not a finished product.

"I'm always continuing to get my sinker refined and get that back to where it was a couple years ago," Ross said. "Execution, sequences, that's something that's never perfect. A lot of work to do still."

Strahm headed to 'pen
The Padres have changed course with the progression of left-hander Matt Strahm. In his first three rehab appearances, Strahm had worked exclusively as a starter, but he pitched one inning in relief on Monday.

According to Green, that's an indication of the Padres' plans with Strahm moving forward. They'd like him to be a multi-inning weapon out of the 'pen, and they're hopeful he could return by early May.

Strahm, acquired in the deal that sent Trevor Cahill to Kansas City last year, has a 3.81 ERA in parts of two seasons with the Royals. Of his 45 appearances, 42 came in relief.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, Eric Hosmer, Christian Villanueva

Rockies call up Pounders, option Oberg

Colorado hopes right-hander can bolster struggling bullpen
MLB.com

DENVER -- Righty Brooks Pounders, who appeared in 11 games for the Angels last season, arrived Tuesday as the latest reinforcement for a Rockies bullpen that has had its moments but, overall, has struggled this season.

Pounders, who has a 3.60 ERA in 10 innings pitched at Triple-A Albuquerque this season, replaces righty Scott Oberg (1-0, 6.55 ERA in 10 games), who was optioned to Albuquerque. To add Pounders to the Major League roster, the Rockies designated Albuquerque righty starter Zach Jemiola for assignment.

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DENVER -- Righty Brooks Pounders, who appeared in 11 games for the Angels last season, arrived Tuesday as the latest reinforcement for a Rockies bullpen that has had its moments but, overall, has struggled this season.

Pounders, who has a 3.60 ERA in 10 innings pitched at Triple-A Albuquerque this season, replaces righty Scott Oberg (1-0, 6.55 ERA in 10 games), who was optioned to Albuquerque. To add Pounders to the Major League roster, the Rockies designated Albuquerque righty starter Zach Jemiola for assignment.

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Pounders, 27, went 1-0 with 12 earned runs allowed in 10 1/3 innings last season with the Angels. He also went 2-1 with a 9.24 ERA for the Royals in 2016. Each year, his bad outings were really bad, which inflated his final numbers, but it points to elusive consistency which Pounders has yet to find.

"It's just staying within myself and controlling what I can control, not doing too much in situations when you need a strikeout," Pounders said. "Just get to that pitch that gets you the strikeout instead of getting deeper into counts. Obviously, for me, it's keeping the ball down and away from right-handed hitters and down and away from left-handed hitters."

During the first four games of the current six-game homestand, the Rockies gave up nine or more runs three times -- a 16-5 loss to the Cubs on Friday night, a 9-7 loss to the Cubs Sunday and a 13-5 loss to the Padres on Monday. It all meant heavy bullpen usage. The Rockies have made two additions this week, with lefty Harrison Musgrave joining Monday when lefty Chris Rusin went to the 10-day disabled list with an intercostal muscle strain, and Pounders arriving Tuesday.

"We needed a guy with a little bit of length and a fresh arm, so that was the priority there," said Rockies manager Bud Black, who noted that Pounders had not pitched in three days.

Tale of two bullpens
With the exception of Monday's loss, when lefty Jake McGee lost a lead in the seventh inning, the bullpen had pitched far better with a lead or in tie games than when behind. They're 9-1 when ahead after six.

However, part of the reason the Rockies entered Tuesday with a 12-12 record is that they are 0-10 when behind after six, and 0-12 when behind after seven. The bullpen's performance was far different when ahead and when behind.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, here is the Rockies' bullpen's performance, according to the score:

When ahead: 3.12 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, .630 OPS

When tied: 3.72 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, .779 OPS

When trailing: 7.57 ERA, 1.64 WHIP, .776 OPS

McGee, whose ERA rose from 1.14 to 5.06 because of Monday's rough outing, Adam Ottavino (0.71 ERA) and closer Wade Davis (1.93, 9-of-10 on save chances) generally end up with the ball with a lead. Rusin (4.97) was rounding into form after a rough beginning.

However, lefty Mike Dunn (10.80 ERA) hasn't given up a hit in five high-leverage plate appearances, but has yielded a .571 average in medium-leverage and .375 in low-leverage appearances. Bryan Shaw (7.59 ERA) has allowed a .100 batting average against in high leverage situations, vs. .400 medium and .471 low.

Oberg, being sent down with some specifics to help him close out counts, was doing most of his pitching with the Rockies behind. It is worth noting that 11 of the 13 runners Oberg has inherited have scored. Last year, just six of the 38 scored.

"We have a lot of guys throwing the ball well, but we've had some unfortunate luck for a few guys," Ottavino said. "I feel those guys have thrown the ball better than their ERAs, especially 'Dunner.' Crazy things have happened.

"When we do have the leads we've been able to hold them. But the thing is we've got to be able to keep the game close when we're down."

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook page.

Colorado Rockies, Zach Jemiola, Scott Oberg, Brooks Pounders

Graveman tweaks game, eyeing better results

Petit placed on bereavement list; Hendriks to have cyst removed
MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- The A's are performing better than ever, even without their Opening Day starter in tip-top form.

Right-hander Kendall Graveman, who will enter his Wednesday start against the Rangers with a 10.07 ERA, is anxious to join the party, and it remains to be seen just how good the A's can be when he's on his game.

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ARLINGTON -- The A's are performing better than ever, even without their Opening Day starter in tip-top form.

Right-hander Kendall Graveman, who will enter his Wednesday start against the Rangers with a 10.07 ERA, is anxious to join the party, and it remains to be seen just how good the A's can be when he's on his game.

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"I'm excited about jumping on board and getting it rolling, too," Graveman said Tuesday. "That, for me, is the next step, helping this team win. I'm excited where I'm headed, where I'm trending."

Graveman last week showcased a modified delivery against the Red Sox, keeping his hands near his belt as opposed to bringing them over his head, and he'll use it again Wednesday. He also utilized his changeup with more frequency, loosening his grip on the pitch after watching new teammate Trevor Cahill at work.

The results were encouraging: Graveman's lone blemish was a three-run homer to Jackie Bradley Jr., and he responded by retiring 11 in a row. He was lifted following a string of three singles in the sixth, and reliever Emilio Pagan surrendered a grand slam, leaving Graveman responsible for six runs.

"The mindset is good," Graveman said. "No issues there. I thought I made really good pitches last week and had a good bullpen session this week, kept it shorter than I have been to save some of my arm, and I just want to continue to focus on location."

Graveman will continue to play the changeup off his signature sinker, too, saying, "For three years, I threw everything pretty hard, and guys knew it, and I was beating people with it, and now the game is screaming at me to continue to develop and change and to get better, and we're always striving to get better."

"[Graveman] made a lot of adjustments," A's manager Bob Melvin said. I thought at first maybe a little bit extreme, and then the pitch complement was quite different, but that's what you do when you're struggling, you gotta make some adjustments, and I think he did a nice job with it. Hopefully he takes some confidence to the mound. It's just a matter of time before he gets going, in our opinion. "

Petit leaves team
Right-hander Yusmeiro Petit left the A's on Tuesday to be with his family in Venezuela following the death of his mother, Rubia. Petit, who was placed on the bereavement list, learned the news of his mom's passing before Monday's game, yet still managed to toss 1 2/3 scoreless innings.

Video: OAK@TEX: Petit fields comebacker, begins a DP

"I'm amazed, and then gets hit on top of it, remains in the game, finishes that inning and goes back out and gets two other hitters out," Melvin said. "I didn't expect it. Obviously appreciated it.

"We all had heavy hearts for him. He really wanted to pitch, and I was not going to use him in that game unless he really wanted to."

Tweet from @Athletics: Our thoughts are with Yusmeiro and his family during this difficult time.

In his place, right-hander Lou Trivino rejoined the A's for a second time. He made his big league debut April 17 and tossed a scoreless inning against the White Sox. The right-hander picked up his first win the next day when he compiled three shutout innings in the A's 12-11, 14-inning win over Chicago.

Hendriks to undergo minor procedure
Reliever Liam Hendriks was expected to have an operation Tuesday to remove a cyst from his hip joint. He was also scheduled to receive a platelet-rich plasma injection to relieve a tear in one of the hip muscles, per A's head trainer Nick Paparesta.

The procedure, which will relieve the groin discomfort that put Hendriks on the disabled list April 14, was to be orchestrated by noted hip specialist Dr. Marc Phillopon in Vail. Colo. Paparesta deemed it "relatively minor."

Per Paparesta, Hendriks will rest for at least 10 days and could be throwing off the mound within a few weeks.

Oakland Athletics, Kendall Graveman, Liam Hendriks, Yusmeiro Petit

Salvy belts 1st homer of '18 in return from DL

Gordon also activated before series opener with Brewers
MLB.com

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals' lineup welcomed back two key components on Tuesday as catcher Salvador Perez and left fielder Alex Gordon were activated from the disabled list.

Finally, the lineup looked again like the one they left Spring Training with. And that's what it felt like for Perez.

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KANSAS CITY -- The Royals' lineup welcomed back two key components on Tuesday as catcher Salvador Perez and left fielder Alex Gordon were activated from the disabled list.

Finally, the lineup looked again like the one they left Spring Training with. And that's what it felt like for Perez.

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"It feels like Opening Day to me," Perez said, smiling.

Perez, who was in the starting lineup and batting cleanup, hit a home run in his second at-bat in a 5-2 loss to the Brewers. He suffered a Grade 2 sprain in his left knee two days before Opening Day when he slipped going up his stairs while carrying his luggage. The original prognosis suggested Perez would miss at least 4-6 weeks. Perez is back on the low end of that estimate.

"You know me," Perez said. "I like to play hard and compete."

Video: Must C Comeback: Salvy and Cain homer in returns

Gordon is recovering from a left hip labral tear. He, too, is back quicker than most thought. He started in left field on Tuesday after a brief rehab stint at Triple-A Omaha.

"I was only gone four days [in Omaha], but it felt like three weeks," Gordon said. "I wanted to get back soon."

To make room for Perez and Gordon, the Royals optioned catcher Cam Gallagher and outfielder Paulo Orlando to Omaha.

The Royals also placed struggling right-handed reliever Justin Grimm on the 10-day disabled list (retroactive to April 22) because of lower back stiffness and recalled left-hander Eric Stout from Omaha.

After a promising start to 2018, Grimm gave up 16 runs in his last five relief outings. His ERA is 21.86.

"He's not getting it done right now," manager Ned Yost said. "And there's a reason he's not getting it done because he can't fire off his back side. We need to calm [his back] down so he can start firing off his back side again."

Stout held opponents to a .214 batting average in five relief outings for Omaha this season.

The Royals chose to keep outfielder Abraham Almonte over Orlando. Almonte hit two home runs on the recent road trip, including a grand slam on Sunday in Detroit.

"He's done a nice job out there defensively," Yost said. "Has been swinging the bat well. It was a hard decision, but we went with him."

Umpire charity auction
Major League Baseball (MLB) umpires will offer up more than 300 items that include priceless autographed sports memorabilia, one-of-a-kind VIP experiences, and upgraded ticket packages during its 10th Annual UMPS CARE Charities Online Auction. The auction is currently underway at www.mlb.com/UmpsCare and closes at 9 p.m. CT on Monday. Some of the items up for bid include signed bats, cleats, jerseys, photos, and baseballs from some of the biggest stars. There are also opportunities to watch batting practice up close on the field at many MLB ballparks, hotel stays with game tickets, opportunities to have lunch with an MLB umpire, suites and tickets from Minor League Baseball clubs, golf foursomes and more.

All proceeds from the Online Auction support UMPS CARE Charities youth programs to provide Major League Baseball experiences for children awaiting adoption, Build-A-Bear Workshop experiences for hospitalized children coping with serious illnesses, college scholarships for deserving young adults who were adopted as children, and financial assistance for families in need.

"Each year thanks to the support from our friends in Major League Baseball and throughout the sports world we get some fantastic items for our auction, and this year is no exception," said former MLB umpire and Board President for UMPS CARE Charities Gary Darling. "This is the biggest fundraising initiative that we have to help so many children in need, and we can't thank everyone enough for all of the support. Please tell all of your friends, bid early and bid often to help this great cause."

Among the Royals items for sale include a George Brett signed jersey and bat, a Mike Moustakas signed jersey and bat, and a Perez signed bat and batting helmet.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Kansas City Royals, Alex Gordon, Salvador Perez

Twins recall Duffey after Busenitz optioned

MLB.com

NEW YORK -- After optioning right-hander Alan Busenitz to Triple-A Rochester after Monday's game, the Twins recalled right-hander Tyler Duffey from Rochester on Tuesday to take Busenitz's spot on the roster.

Duffey saw immediate action on Tuesday, allowing three runs on four hits over two innings in relief in Minnesota's 8-3 loss to the Yankees. Duffey was hurt by a solo homer from Aaron Judge and a two-run shot from Gary Sanchez in the seventh inning. Both home runs came on fastballs.

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NEW YORK -- After optioning right-hander Alan Busenitz to Triple-A Rochester after Monday's game, the Twins recalled right-hander Tyler Duffey from Rochester on Tuesday to take Busenitz's spot on the roster.

Duffey saw immediate action on Tuesday, allowing three runs on four hits over two innings in relief in Minnesota's 8-3 loss to the Yankees. Duffey was hurt by a solo homer from Aaron Judge and a two-run shot from Gary Sanchez in the seventh inning. Both home runs came on fastballs.

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Duffey competed for a spot on the Opening Day roster in Spring Training, getting stretched out into a starting role before beginning the year at Rochester. He pitched 11 innings in the Minors without allowing an earned run, striking out 14 batters and walking one.

Duffey, who hadn't pitched in the Minors since 2016, said the change in environment helped him slow things down on the mound, which led to his success.

"Honestly, I just took a step back and slowed down once I got optioned during camp," Duffey said. "Just cleaned up things a little bit. Mechanics and pitches. Everything feels pretty good and has been working. Hopefully, it translates and I can keep doing it. The game up here speeds up. You kind of forget about it because I was up here for two years. I realized what it meant and how sped up I had actually gotten."

Duffey said that with his improved mechanics, his command was much better in Rochester and that he was able to mix in his developing changeup along with his fastball and curveball. He noted that Minor League balls are slightly different, with larger seams, but he threw with Major League balls during bullpen sessions, and threw off the mound before Tuesday's game.

He pitched in relief at Rochester but it was more of a modified starting role, as he was stretched out in all four outings. He threw 51 pitches in three scoreless innings against Columbus on Friday and is available to pitch on Tuesday.

"I feel good and fresh," he said. "Even having thrown 50, I feel really good. If it's two or three innings or one inning, it'll all be the same. Hopefully, I'll just be useful and get the outs when I need them."

The 27-year-old has made 92 appearances (36 starts) for the Twins over the past three seasons, posting a 16-16 record and a 5.29 ERA in that span. He pitched exclusively in relief last season after previously working as a starter.

"We haven't had that guy who can give us length from the bullpen to this point," manager Paul Molitor said. "We've used a lot of people over the last four games, so we needed someone who could bring us some relief."

Busenitz pitched in four games with the Twins; his ERA rose to 6.75 on Tuesday night after he was charged with two runs while recording two outs in Minnesota's 14-1 loss to the Yankees.

Buxton still out

Center fielder Byron Buxton, who is on the 10-day disabled list with migraines, was held out of the lineup at Class A Advanced Fort Myers on Tuesday for a second straight day after hitting a foul ball off his left toe on Sunday. He's going to get treatment on the foot at the club's Spring Training complex and is expected to play in extended spring training on Wednesday to get more at-bats. He's eligible to be activated on Wednesday, but Molitor said the best-case scenario has him returning on Friday, when the Twins head home for a three-game series against the Reds.

Kinley scuffling

Rule 5 reliever Tyler Kinley has had a rough go through his first four appearances, allowing nine runs in 3 1/3 innings -- including a grand slam by Didi Gregorius on Monday -- for a 24.30 ERA. Molitor said they're still trying to find ways to use Kinley, who must stay on the roster or be offered back to the Marlins, but that his struggles make it tough to find the right situations.

"I don't think it's that uncommon where you try to protect the Rule 5 guys the best that you can," Molitor said. "Just keep looking for spots and hoping something builds momentum. ... The fact that we're still holding on, we must still see some light there, and we're trying to see if it can happen."

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

Minnesota Twins, Tyler Duffey

Nats call up prospects Bautista, Sanchez

Kelley headed for DL stint; Reynolds optioned to Triple-A
MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Nationals made a number of roster moves in order to reset their bench to full strength prior to Tuesday night's game against the Giants.

Infielder Adrian Sanchez and outfielder Rafael Bautista were promoted from Triple-A Syracuse, while the team placed right-hander Shawn Kelley, who exited Monday night's game with an ulnar nerve irritation, on the 10-day disabled list and optioned Matt Reynolds to Triple-A as the corresponding moves.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- The Nationals made a number of roster moves in order to reset their bench to full strength prior to Tuesday night's game against the Giants.

Infielder Adrian Sanchez and outfielder Rafael Bautista were promoted from Triple-A Syracuse, while the team placed right-hander Shawn Kelley, who exited Monday night's game with an ulnar nerve irritation, on the 10-day disabled list and optioned Matt Reynolds to Triple-A as the corresponding moves.

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Kelley lasted just four pitches Monday night before he had to leave the game with a similar issue he felt in 2016, when he said a sensation went through his arm and he had trouble feeling his fingers. The club will allow Kelley to rest for the next few days before he is further evaluated when they return to Washington. Considering Kelley's history of arm troubles, including two Tommy John surgeries, the decision was easy to place him on the DL.

"We want to make sure we don't do any more damage," manager Dave Martinez said. "And just give him a little breather."

Washington had been playing a man short on the bench, so the move will return the Nats to five bench players as well as give them some flexibility with their position players to fill in for injuries.

Bautista, the Nationals' No. 20-ranked prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, gives the Nats another outfielder to fill in while Adam Eaton remains on the DL with a left ankle contusion. Bautista had also started the season playing well at Syracuse, where he was hitting .429 with three stolen bases and seven runs scored in 10 games.

"I've been working on the strike zone and my swing a lot," Bautista said. "And it's getting better and better every game, every at-bat."

And Sanchez gives them more flexibility in the infield while both second baseman Daniel Murphy (right knee) and third baseman Anthony Rendon (left big toe) are also sidelined. Sanchez had two separate stints with Washington in 2017 and said he feels most comfortable playing third base, where he is starting Tuesday.

Video: HOU@WSH: Sanchez drives home two runs with a single

Sanchez replaces Reynolds as the Nats' utility infielder on the roster. Reynolds had struggled in 13 plate appearances with Washington, collecting just one hit and a walk while striking out four times.

Martinez meets with Gonzalez
Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez voiced his displeasure with the perceived quick hook from Monday night's 4-2 loss to the Giants when he was pulled from the game in the sixth inning after issuing a leadoff walk with 94 pitches.

Gonzalez said after the game that he "100 percent" thought he should have remained in the game. The two spoke on Tuesday and now say the issue is behind them.

"We talked today and we had a good conversation," Martinez said. "I told him hey, you gave us a great chance to win but our bullpen was pretty fresh so I thought it was a good opportunity before anything got out of hand to get somebody in there."

Video: WSH@SF: Gonzalez strikes out Crawford to escape a jam

UMPS Care charity auction
Nationals fans have the chance to bid on some unique opportunities or memorabilia from their favorite team while also helping a good cause for the 10th annual Umps Care charity auction.

Fans can bid for a Bryce Harper jersey, four tickets to a game complete with a batting-practice experience or even a Harper "Gobblehead" figurine from Class A Potomac.

Major League Baseball umpires will offer up more than 300 items that include priceless autographed sports memorabilia, one-of-a-kind VIP experiences, and upgraded ticket packages during its 10th Annual UMPS CARE Charities Online Auction. The auction is currently underway at www.mlb.com/UmpsCare and closes at 10 p.m. ET on Monday. Some of the items up for bid include signed bats, cleats, jerseys, photos and baseballs from some of the biggest stars in baseball. There are also opportunities to watch batting practice up close on the field at many MLB ballparks, hotel stays with game tickets, opportunities to have lunch with an MLB umpire, suites and tickets from Minor League Baseball clubs, golf foursomes and more.

All proceeds from the Online Auction support UMPS CARE Charities youth programs to provide MLB experiences for children awaiting adoption, Build-A-Bear Workshop experiences for hospitalized children coping with serious illnesses, college scholarships for deserving young adults who were adopted as children and financial assistance for families in need.

"Each year thanks to the support from our friends in Major League Baseball and throughout the sports world we get some fantastic items for our auction, and this year is no exception," said Gary Darling, former MLB umpire and board president for UMPS CARE Charities. "This is the biggest fundraising initiative that we have to help so many children in need, and we can't thank everyone enough for all of the support. Please tell all of your friends, bid early and bid often to help this great cause."

Jamal Collier has covered the Nationals for MLB.com since 2016. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Washington Nationals, Rafael Bautista, Shawn Kelley, Matt Reynolds, Adrian Sanchez

Fried has rough debut after being recalled

Lefty allowed walk-off homer in loss to Reds on Tuesday after arriving from Gwinnett
MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- Max Fried's Tuesday began with him anxiously racing to catch a flight in Rochester, N.Y. It ended with him looking distraught as he stared at nothing in particular while sitting at his locker following the Braves' 9-7, 12-inning loss to the Reds at Great American Ball Park.

Promoted from Triple-A Gwinnett to serve as Atlanta's long reliever for a few days, Fried was immediately pressed into action once the Braves exhausted all of their available relievers. The 24-year-old southpaw issued a leadoff walk to Joey Votto and then hung a curveball that Scooter Gennett drilled into the right-field seats for a walk-off homer.

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CINCINNATI -- Max Fried's Tuesday began with him anxiously racing to catch a flight in Rochester, N.Y. It ended with him looking distraught as he stared at nothing in particular while sitting at his locker following the Braves' 9-7, 12-inning loss to the Reds at Great American Ball Park.

Promoted from Triple-A Gwinnett to serve as Atlanta's long reliever for a few days, Fried was immediately pressed into action once the Braves exhausted all of their available relievers. The 24-year-old southpaw issued a leadoff walk to Joey Votto and then hung a curveball that Scooter Gennett drilled into the right-field seats for a walk-off homer.

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Video: ATL@CIN: Gennett crushes a two-run walk-off homer

"I had to make a better pitch," Fried said. "I left a two-strike curveball up. I was trying to get it in the dirt. He made a good swing on it. But I've got to make a better pitch in that situation."

Because Fried threw just nine pitches, the Braves may opt to keep him around to serve as a long reliever for a few more days. The plan was for him to return to Gwinnett to serve as a starter once he was used out of Atlanta's bullpen.

One way or another, the Braves will need to have a long-relief option available when Matt Wisler starts against the Reds on Wednesday night.

Fried's arrival was necessitated after right-handed reliever Miguel Socolovich needed 37 pitches to record three outs in the eighth inning of Monday's 10-4 loss to the Reds. Socolovich was designated for assignment on Tuesday.

Fried learned of his promotion late Monday night. He flew out of Rochester, at 7 a.m. ET, experienced a brief layover in Chicago and arrived in Cincinnati long before the start of Tuesday's game. He posted a 3.71 ERA as he totaled 26 innings while serving as both a starter and reliever after debuting for Atlanta last season.

Odds and ends
• Manager Brian Snitker suggested he might spend a couple days staying away from left-handed reliever Sam Freeman, who has issued eight walks over his past 2 1/3 innings, even though Freeman says he feels fine physically. He has made a Major League-high 14 appearances, but it should be pointed out that those have been spread out over a 26-day span and he hasn't had a back-to-back appearance since April 14.

Tyler Flowers felt fine after he began his Minor League rehab stint with Gwinnett on Monday. Flowers, who has been sidelined since Opening Day with a strained left oblique, could be activated from the disabled list within the next week.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com.

Atlanta Braves, Max Fried

White Sox put Garcia on DL, recall Palka

Gonzalez being cautious with rotator cuff inflammation; Rodon tosses extended ST game
MLB.com

CHICAGO -- White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia was placed on the 10-day disabled list Tuesday with a strained right hamstring he sustained while running to first during the second inning of the White Sox 10-4 victory over the Mariners on Monday.

Manager Rick Renteria hopes his right fielder won't be out of action for an extended period.

CHICAGO -- White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia was placed on the 10-day disabled list Tuesday with a strained right hamstring he sustained while running to first during the second inning of the White Sox 10-4 victory over the Mariners on Monday.

Manager Rick Renteria hopes his right fielder won't be out of action for an extended period.

"Looking at it, it's considered mild to moderate," Renteria said. "So depending on how quickly he's able to heal and the exercises they do to put him back on track, we're hoping it's not a long, extended DL stint.

"I don't see it that way. But we'll see where it's at in a few days after he's calmed it down and they're doing what they need to do with it."

Garcia, 26, came up lame as he was running out a grounder Monday and then tumbled over first base. He was helped off the field by head athletic trainer Herm Schneider and assistant athletic trainer Brian Ball. Garcia is hitting .233 with one home run, four RBIs and five runs scored this season, coming off an All-Star campaign in 2017.

Daniel Palka, 26, was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte to take Garcia's place. Palka is Chicago's No. 30 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, and the left-handed slugger should get a chance to show a little bit of his potential as part of the White Sox rebuild.

Video: CIN@CWS: Palka hammers a solo homer in the 3rd

"My game is pretty obvious to most," said Palka, who was batting .286 with three doubles, three home runs, seven RBIs and 11 runs scored in 17 games for Charlotte this season. "It's going to be my bat. Come out Day 1 in whatever role there is, whatever role needs to be filled, just be consistent in that role."

"We'll try to take advantage of what he brings to the table," Renteria said. "We also want to find out what he's going to be able to do here. He had a nice showing in the spring. Obviously comes with a lot of power, and maybe we can take advantage of that a little bit."

Palka, who will wear No. 18, was claimed off of waivers from the Twins on Nov. 4, 2017. He has no previous Major League time.

Gonzalez being cautious
Miguel Gonzalez knew there was something wrong after his last start on April 17 in Oakland, where he allowed eight runs over three innings.

"It was grabbing on pretty hard," said Gonzalez, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to Tuesday with right rotator cuff inflammation. "It didn't feel good. It wasn't right. A lot of inflammation.

"That's something we can control. Have a couple of days off and then be ready to go."

Video: CWS@OAK: Gonzalez strikes out Davis in the 3rd

Gonzalez missed from June 15-July 17 last year due to A/C joint inflammation in his right shoulder. He had a 1-8 record with a 6.79 ERA in trying to pitch with the discomfort last season, and although he will be eligible to return against the Cardinals in St. Louis on Tuesday, Gonzalez knows it will take more time.

"We are going to take our time a little more just to make sure that everything is all right," Gonzalez said. "Nothing serious. Give it time to get better."

Rodon back in action
Carlos Rodon threw three innings and 34 pitches on Monday in an extended spring training game at the Reds in his return from arthroscopic shoulder surgery last September.

Closing thought
"You can tell guys are uncomfortable from the start. It's always good to play defense when he's pitching. He looks awesome. It's dominant." -- Palka, on playing with right-hander Michael Kopech, the White Sox No. 2 prospect and the No. 10 overall prospect per MLB Pipeline

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chicago White Sox, Avisail Garcia, Daniel Palka