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Mets activate David Wright from disabled list

Captain: 'To say it's a good feeling is an understatement'
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Throughout the past month, as he watched the Mets' games in Flushing and elsewhere, David Wright typically sat on the dugout bench in a blue hooded sweatshirt. He did not put on his uniform top because he was not technically a member of the team; since May 28, 2016, Wright has spent each of the Mets' 433 games on the disabled list.

That changed Tuesday, when the Mets activated their captain from the 60-day DL for the final six games of his career. For the first time in more than two years, Wright slipped a Mets jersey over his shoulders for a game.

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NEW YORK -- Throughout the past month, as he watched the Mets' games in Flushing and elsewhere, David Wright typically sat on the dugout bench in a blue hooded sweatshirt. He did not put on his uniform top because he was not technically a member of the team; since May 28, 2016, Wright has spent each of the Mets' 433 games on the disabled list.

That changed Tuesday, when the Mets activated their captain from the 60-day DL for the final six games of his career. For the first time in more than two years, Wright slipped a Mets jersey over his shoulders for a game.

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"To say it's a good feeling is an understatement," Wright said. "It's been a long time coming … a lot of time, a lot of hard work, so to be able to suit up and go out there, and just the opportunity to get the chance to play means the world to me."

15 stats that explain Wright's greatness

It is a chance that, for at least parts of the past two years, Wright was not sure he would have again. Since his last big league game, Wright has undergone neck, back and shoulder surgeries, beseeching his body again and again to do things it refused to do. Only recently, as he played in a dozen rehab games for two Mets Minor League affiliates, did Wright acknowledge privately that his condition is not going to improve.

Video: ATL@NYM: Wright activated from the 60-day DL

That prompted him and the Mets to reach an agreement in which they would activate him this week for six final games, including a start at third base Saturday against the Marlins. In that contest, Wright will play alongside Jose Reyes, his constant companion on the left side of the Mets' infield from 2004-11.

Top 10 moments of David Wright's career

What Wright does before then remains in question. While team officials have noted they would like to give him at least one pinch-hit opportunity during the week, assistant general manager John Ricco said on Tuesday that, out of respect for the Braves' pursuit of home-field advantage in the National League playoffs, the Mets will not use Wright in any game that is close. That could mean Wright's first appearance in a game will not occur until Friday against the Marlins.

If the Mets do use Wright before Saturday, he said he "would like a little bit of a heads-up just because it takes me a little while to get going, and I want to make sure I'm prepared physically."

"I'm going to be so nervous about just trying to make the plays and make some contact that I hope there's not any time for anything else," Wright said, referring to his emotions. "I'm real nervous, I'll tell you that. I'm real excited. I've already got the butterflies going. So it's going to be a weird, yet really fulfilling feeling."

Video: MLB Central on David Wright starting his final game

The Mets will open the Citi Field gates a half hour earlier than usual on Saturday, at 4:30 p.m. ET, to allow fans to watch Wright take batting practice.

"I'll take it all in while I'm out there as much as I can, and try to savor these emotions and savor these feelings," Wright said. "I've never really allowed myself to do it, and I'm going to try to do it as best as I can."

The Mets' all-time leader in hits (1,777), RBIs (970) and runs (949), and a career .296/.376/.491 hitter, Wright ranks in the Top 10 in franchise history in just about every meaningful offensive category. Since he returned to the clubhouse earlier this month, he has received accolades from the Red Sox -- Dustin Pedroia gave him a No. 5 panel from the Green Monster scoreboard -- the Phillies and the Nationals. Assuredly, the Mets have a significant tribute planned for Wright, who became the fourth captain in franchise history in 2013.

It will be, in Wright's estimation, a "unique" end to his career.

Video: The Rundown: David Wright's career as a Met

"Unique because it's been so long since I've played," Wright said. "Unique because I've understood the work and the time and the effort that's gone in to trying to get my body as good as it's going to get, knowing that there are some things that just aren't going to be right. … You think you can play forever and with me, unfortunately, my body is just not allowing that to happen. That is a unique feeling.

"All in all, it's nice to accomplish … being activated, but at the same time I want to put on as good of a show as I possibly can."

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets, David Wright

McCullers returns from disabled list

MLB.com

Astros right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. was reinstated from the disabled list on Monday, and the club also recalled lefty Reymin Guduan from Triple-A.

The 24-year-old will be available to pitch out of relief in Houston's series against Toronto. McCullers completed his third and final simulated game on Friday at the club's Spring Training facility in West Palm Beach, Fla. 

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Astros right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. was reinstated from the disabled list on Monday, and the club also recalled lefty Reymin Guduan from Triple-A.

The 24-year-old will be available to pitch out of relief in Houston's series against Toronto. McCullers completed his third and final simulated game on Friday at the club's Spring Training facility in West Palm Beach, Fla. 

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"I felt good over the three times I was out there," McCullers said. "There were some ups and downs, but that's part of getting back into pitching shape. I was happy with the way my body responded each time, and the way I looked and felt the last time [on Friday]. I want to pitch again."

On Friday, McCullers threw around 25 pitches, amounting to 1 1/3 innings. He said he was pleased with his breaking ball, worked on his fastball and changeup, and he was landing the pitches in the zone to both right-handed and left-handed batters. No Major League starting pitcher throws his curveball at a higher rate than McCullers.

McCullers, a 2017 All-Star, had been on the disabled list since Aug. 5 with a muscle strain in his right forearm. He is 10-6 with a 3.93 ERA in 22 starts with Houston, and he has 138 strikeouts in 126 innings.

Houston Astros, Lance McCullers Jr.

Twins call up Graterol to bolster catching depth

MLB.com

OAKLAND -- With Mitch Garver not expected to catch again this season after suffering a concussion on a foul tip Sept. 12, the Twins purchased the contract of catcher Juan Graterol from Triple-A Rochester on Saturday.

Graterol was on vacation in Miami with his family when he got the news he'd be called up to join the Twins on Saturday and said he was excited about his change of plans.

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OAKLAND -- With Mitch Garver not expected to catch again this season after suffering a concussion on a foul tip Sept. 12, the Twins purchased the contract of catcher Juan Graterol from Triple-A Rochester on Saturday.

Graterol was on vacation in Miami with his family when he got the news he'd be called up to join the Twins on Saturday and said he was excited about his change of plans.

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"I was a little surprised, to be honest with you," Graterol said. "You never know what's going to happen in this game. I think my wife is even more excited than me. I'm really happy. It's a new chapter in my career, having fun with these guys."

Graterol, 29, has Major League experience, hitting .222/.225/.283 with six doubles and 13 RBIs in 58 games with the Angels from 2016-18. He was released by the Angels on June 24, only to sign with Minnesota four days later. Graterol hit .284/.317/.336 with six doubles and 10 RBIs in 34 games with Rochester.

He's not expected to see much action over the final week of the season, but the Twins are down to two healthy catchers in Willians Astudillo and Chris Gimenez and have a doubleheader Friday.

"It's just a bit of protection on the bench in terms of numbers more than anything," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "You hopefully don't have to get in that spot, but we're limited. Just having another body that could go out there if needed I thought was worthwhile. He's scheduled to go play in Venezuela this winter, so he's been doing some baseball things, and we got him here, so that's a good thing for us."

Graterol had actually planned to fly to his native Venezuela on Monday to get ready for the winter ball season, but will now push that back until after next week. For now, Graterol is happy to have an opportunity to be in the big leagues, even if it's only for the final nine games of the year.

"I'm just here to help the team and do my job," Graterol said. "I want to show these guys I can still play baseball. In the future, you never know what's going to happen. In this business, sometimes it's crazy, you know. You could be playing in Triple-A and then up in the big leagues the next day. After three years with the Angels, it's kind of different with all the new people and everything. But I'm just trying to get to know everybody."

Worth noting

Miguel Sano underwent an MRI exam on his left knee Friday, but it revealed no structural damage. He suffered the injury on a slide Sept. 4 and returned to the lineup Tuesday, only to head back to Minnesota on Wednesday to get his knee checked out. There's a chance he could return this season but the Twins are still trying to find out more about the injury.

"We didn't learn anything new," Molitor said. "We tried to eliminate things that might be sources or causes of the aggravation that he continues to feel. A little bit of a puzzle that we haven't been able to solve yet in terms of the discomfort he continues to experience. We're hoping with treatment and maybe a little bit more rest, we'll be in a better place come Tuesday."

• Second baseman Logan Forsythe's sore left knee is improving, but he wasn't able to return to the lineup Saturday. He's likely to remain out of action until the Twins return home to Target Field on Tuesday.

"Improved today," Molitor said. "Obviously not to the level that he's in the lineup. But it was a good step forward compared to how he felt yesterday."

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

Minnesota Twins, Juan Graterol

Meadows called up by Rays, not in lineup

Playing time for highly touted outfielder may be scarce
MLB.com

TORONTO -- As expected, the Rays called up Austin Meadows prior to the team's four-game series in Toronto. But playing time may be scarce for 23-year-old outfielder, who was not in the starting lineup in Thursday night's 9-8 loss at Rogers Centre. He pinch-hit with the bases empty in the top of the ninth and grounded out to first.

"Right now, I think the lane is a little blocked, with the way we're playing," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "I tried to express that to him, but he's a huge part of our future."

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TORONTO -- As expected, the Rays called up Austin Meadows prior to the team's four-game series in Toronto. But playing time may be scarce for 23-year-old outfielder, who was not in the starting lineup in Thursday night's 9-8 loss at Rogers Centre. He pinch-hit with the bases empty in the top of the ninth and grounded out to first.

"Right now, I think the lane is a little blocked, with the way we're playing," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "I tried to express that to him, but he's a huge part of our future."

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Meadows came over from the Pirates along with Tyler Glasnow as part of the package for starter Chris Archer. He entered the season as the 45th-ranked prospect and the No. 1 prospect in the Pirates' organization, according to MLB Pipeline.

Since the trade, Meadows has been phenomenal at Triple-A Durham. He hit .344 with 10 homers in 27 games and led the team to a National Championship appearance.

"We feel it's about time for him to kind of cut loose and open up on his Major League career," Cash said.

However, the path to playing time appears blocked for Meadows. Outfielders Kevin Kiermaier, Mallex Smith and Tommy Pham are still expected to get the bulk of the work.

"Right now, [he] is going to impact us off the bench," Cash said. "Whether it's with his speed, his legs, or obviously, his bat."

Meadows' bat caught the attention of Kiermaier earlier this year, when the two played during Spring Training.

"That dude rakes," Kiermaier said. "I don't think he needs any of my help, but I'm here to give him any pointers or tips that he needs from the defensive side."

Regardless of his playing time, Meadows is just looking forward to helping the team down the stretch.

"It's great, everyone is very welcoming here," Meadows said. "I know that the team is rolling right now ... [and] just to be able to be a part of that, it's an exciting feeling."

Aaron Rose is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto.

Tampa Bay Rays, Austin Meadows

Strop confident he'll return by end of season

MLB.com

PHOENIX -- Cubs reliever Pedro Strop, who has been sidelined with a right hamstring strain since Thursday, is continuing to make progress and said Wednesday he expects to return to game action by the end of the regular season.

"Everything is pain-free. We're not trying to do too much," Strop said. "We're letting that thing heal. We're going to do whatever is possible to do."

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PHOENIX -- Cubs reliever Pedro Strop, who has been sidelined with a right hamstring strain since Thursday, is continuing to make progress and said Wednesday he expects to return to game action by the end of the regular season.

"Everything is pain-free. We're not trying to do too much," Strop said. "We're letting that thing heal. We're going to do whatever is possible to do."

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Cubs manager Joe Maddon will continue to sort out the bullpen in the final 10 games. With Strop and Brandon Morrow both injured, left-hander Justin Wilson may be the leader as far as closer options.

"I still believe it's Justin," Maddon said. "But look at the acquisitions, [Jesse] Chavez and [Jorge] De La Rosa, look what they've done for us down there."

Chavez has a 1.44 ERA with three saves in 27 games with the Cubs, while De La Rosa has a 1.59 ERA and one save in 13 appearances. Wilson had 13 saves with the Tigers last season, but none since he was acquired by the Cubs.

Video: CIN@CHC: Quintana retires Barnhart to end the threat

Q ready for South Siders
Jose Quintana will open the Cubs' final road trip, but he'll be doing it in Chicago when they face his former team, the White Sox, in a three-game Interleague series, starting Friday.

"I knew one day, I'd go back to pitch there," said Quintana, who has a 22-27 record and 3.59 ERA in 84 games at Guaranteed Rate Field. "I'm excited. I pitched a long time there and I have fresh memories. It'll be good to be back. I'm just going to try to do my job and win a game."

Dealt to the Cubs in July 2017, this will be Quintana's first game against the White Sox.

"I played with them for a long time," he said. "It's exciting."

Schwarber might return Friday
Maddon is hoping Kyle Schwarber can play Friday. He did not accompany the team to Arizona, remaining home to rehab a sore back.

"I have not heard anything bad," Maddon said. "The plan before we left was to get Schwarbs ready for first game against the White Sox."

Cubs add Webster to bullpen
The Cubs selected the contract of right-handed pitcher Allen Webster and he joined the bullpen mix on Wednesday, getting a chance in the eighth inning against the D-backs. Webster gave up a two-run homer to Jeff Mathis with two outs in the eighth.

This is the first time he's been on a big league roster since 2015. The right-hander had a 1.13 ERA with three saves and 11 strikeouts with Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa from Aug. 11-Sept. 2. He signed a Minor League deal with the Cubs in early March. For the season, he posted a 2.65 ERA in 17 outings.

"When the season ended, I went home for a couple days," Webster said. "Then they called and told me just in case to stay in shape. I've stayed in shape at home. I came out here to the Spring Training complex last week."

He was able to work out at home with some other players who were preparing for winter ball. Webster had thought his season was over.

"I did for a few days and then they told me to keep going and I picked it back up and stayed in shape," he said. "I had a lot of smiles yesterday when they told me."

To make room for Webster on the 40-man roster, Morrow was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.

Worth noting
• Shortstop Nico Hoerner, the Cubs' first-round pick in this year's Draft, has been getting ready for the Arizona Fall League by working out at the team's facility in Mesa. Hoerner was shut down in July because of an injury to ligaments in his left elbow. The 24th player selected overall, he will be playing for the Mesa Solar Sox in the AFL, which opens play Oct. 9.

• Maddon will wear a replica football jersey of former St. Louis Cardinals kicker Jim Bakken on the flight back to Chicago. Maddon grew up a fan of the Cardinals since the days of quarterback Jim Hart, lineman Dan Dierdorf, wide receiver Mel Gray and running back Terry Metcalf in the 1970s. Maddon was a kicker (and quarterback) at Hazleton High School. An Arizona Cardinals representative presented Maddon with the jersey on Tuesday at Chase Field.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.

Chicago Cubs, Pedro Strop, Allen Webster

Rays will recall Meadows, 3 more on Thursday

MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- Rookie outfielder Austin Meadows is among the Rays' four additional callups from Triple-A Durham the club plans to make on Thursday, after which he will make his debut with Tampa Bay.

Meadows was the key piece, along with right-hander Tyler Glasnow, acquired in the non-waiver Trade Deadline deal that sent Chris Archer to the Pirates. Right-handers Chih-Wei Hu and Austin Pruitt and left-hander Hoby Milner will also be recalled.

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ARLINGTON -- Rookie outfielder Austin Meadows is among the Rays' four additional callups from Triple-A Durham the club plans to make on Thursday, after which he will make his debut with Tampa Bay.

Meadows was the key piece, along with right-hander Tyler Glasnow, acquired in the non-waiver Trade Deadline deal that sent Chris Archer to the Pirates. Right-handers Chih-Wei Hu and Austin Pruitt and left-hander Hoby Milner will also be recalled.

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Tweet from @RaysBaseball: The following four players will be recalled tomorrow and join us in Toronto.OF Austin MeadowsLH Hoby MilnerRH Austin PruittRH Chih-Wei Hu

Durham's season concluded after Tuesday night's 14-4 loss to Memphis in the Triple-A National Championship Game, a rematch of last season's contest.

Meadows batted .302 with 10 home runs and 25 RBIs in 36 games for Durham this season. He played in 49 games for the Pirates earlier this year, hitting .292/.327/.468 with five home runs and 13 RBIs during his first stint in the Majors.

Video: Austin Meadows named NL Rookie of the Month for May

"Very excited to see him," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "I know what our staff feels about him, and the impact that he had down there in Durham for the month and a half that he was there. Excited to get him up here."

With a crowded outfield that includes Mallex Smith, Tommy Pham, Carlos Gomez and Kevin Kiermaier, Cash said Meadows likely won't see much regular playing time, but he will receive some opportunities down the stretch.

"It'll be challenging, there's no doubt," Cash said. "We'll just see how these next couple games shake out and go from there."

Rays beat
• Tampa Bay is 22-5 since Aug. 19, the best record in the Majors over that stretch. The club also has an MLB-best 2.65 ERA in that span. The Rays, however, still remain 5 1/2 games out of the second Wild Card spot in the American League.

"We need help, there's no doubt about that," Cash said. "But I like the way the guys have continued to go about their business day to day. That's very cliche, but sometimes you just have to go with that. Control what we can control. We've got a chance to do something special, and that's find a way to win three games in a row on the road."

• Kiermaier received a regular day off and was not in the starting lineup for Wednesday's series finale. Kiermaier is batting .396 (19-for-48) with nine extra-base hits and 11 runs scored in his last 13 games.

Wesley Dotson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Arlington.

Tampa Bay Rays, Austin Meadows

Johnson receives first big league callup at 28

Angels add to middle-infield depth; Fletcher may not return this season
MLB.com

OAKLAND -- After playing his last game of the season with Triple-A Salt Lake on Sept. 3, Sherman Johnson switched out of baseball mode. He went back home to Tampa, Fla., to begin his offseason, putting the Majors far from his mind.

Johnson was playing video games earlier this week when he received a call from the Angels' front office that caught him completely off guard. After seven seasons in the Minors, the 28-year-old infielder was receiving his first big league callup with the Halos.

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OAKLAND -- After playing his last game of the season with Triple-A Salt Lake on Sept. 3, Sherman Johnson switched out of baseball mode. He went back home to Tampa, Fla., to begin his offseason, putting the Majors far from his mind.

Johnson was playing video games earlier this week when he received a call from the Angels' front office that caught him completely off guard. After seven seasons in the Minors, the 28-year-old infielder was receiving his first big league callup with the Halos.

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"I kind of didn't believe it at first," Johnson said before Tuesday's series opener against the A's. "That was the last thing that I thought would happen, in my head."

With rookie second baseman David Fletcher out with a left hamstring strain, the Angels decided to bolster their middle-infield depth by calling up Johnson. To clear a spot for Johnson on the 40-man roster, the Angels transferred right-hander Nick Tropeano (shoulder inflammation) to the 60-day disabled list.

A 14th-round Draft pick by the Angels in 2012, the left-handed-hitting Johnson batted .251 with a .755 OPS, four home runs and 20 RBIs in 66 games between Triple-A Salt Lake and Double-A Mobile this season.

Johnson said he appreciated the chance to look back on his long road to the Majors during his cross-country flight from Florida to California.

"You try not to let the frustration get to you," Johnson said. "Just try to keep playing, keep going. Keep getting better every day. That's all you can really focus on at that point. It's definitely a good feeling to be able to reflect. I had a long flight from Florida here, so I got to think about all those times in the Minor Leagues and at Triple-A. It's definitely rewarding."

The Angels have 37 players on their active roster.

Worth noting
• Manager Mike Scioscia said the Angels are unsure if Fletcher will play again this season after injuring his hamstring on Sunday.

"These things usually have a mind of their own," Scioscia said. "We're going to keep looking at it on a day-to-day basis to see where he is, but we're not going to rush anything or run him out there in a game and put him at risk. We'll see how it goes."

• Left-hander Tyler Skaggs was activated off the disabled list and started against the A's on Tuesday. Skaggs had not pitched for the Angels since Aug. 11 due to a left adductor strain.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Los Angeles Angels

Heyward activated off DL, will be eased back

Cubs outfielder 'good to go' from right hamstring injury
MLB.com

CHICAGO -- The Cubs activated Jason Heyward from the disabled list prior their game Sunday against the Reds at Wrigley Field.

Heyward was not in the starting lineup, though manager Joe Maddon said the veteran right fielder was available off the bench.

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CHICAGO -- The Cubs activated Jason Heyward from the disabled list prior their game Sunday against the Reds at Wrigley Field.

Heyward was not in the starting lineup, though manager Joe Maddon said the veteran right fielder was available off the bench.

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"He's good to go," Maddon said. "[We're] still being cautious, but he's good to go."

The Cubs plan on easing Heyward back from his DL stint for a right hamstring strain, similar to how they handled Addison Russell when he came off the disabled list at the start of September. Russell returned as a defensive replacement and late-innings substitute for a few games before starting at shortstop.

Maddon said the lefty-swinging Heyward will also be out of the lineup Monday night at Arizona with the D-backs starting left-hander Patrick Corbin. Once again, Heyward will be available to pinch-hit and play defense later in the game. As long as nothing goes wrong in his return, Heyward should be back in the Cubs' lineup soon.

Heyward, 29, already has made an immediate impact on the Cubs upon his return from the DL this season. After missing time in May with a concussion, Heyward came off the DL and batted .336 with an .885 OPS in 36 games from May 18 through June.

"You realize how important he's been by his absence," Maddon said. "And now he's rested. In perverse ways, sometimes these things actually work in your favor."

Starters emerging late in season
Starting pitching had been among the Cubs' biggest questions through the first four months of the season, with Yu Darvish's injuries, Tyler Chatwood's lack of command and Jose Quintana's inconsistency.

Then came the deal for Cole Hamels, who immediately became the Cubs' most reliable starter.

"We were just five [innings] or less with a lot of guys," Maddon said. "Of course, Cole getting here has kind of righted the ship. What he's done has kind of inspired the rest of the group."

Jon Lester is pitching as well as he had during the first half of the season after a five-start midseason funk. And Quintana is one of the hottest pitchers in baseball -- 3-0 with a 1.84 ERA in his five outings before his start Sunday vs. the Reds.

Video: CIN@CHC: Lester strikes out 9 over 7 scoreless frames

The success of the starters could hardly come at a more optimal time for the Cubs, with their bullpen somewhat gassed and their two closers this season, Brandon Morrow and his replacement, Pedro Strop, on the disabled list.

"As they're able to continue to do this," Maddon said, "then this bullpen can catch the breath that they need right now."

Video: CIN@CHC: Hamels strikes out 7 over 6 2/3 innings

Worth noting
Kyle Schwarber will not travel to Arizona for the Cubs' three-game series with the D-backs. Arizona has two left-handed pitchers scheduled to start in the series, and Maddon said it made more sense to give Schwarber a few more days before getting back in the lineup. There's a good chance he could return as the designated hitter for the Cubs' weekend series against the White Sox on the South Side.

Tommy La Stella was scratched from the lineup due to lower back tightness. He is considered day to day.

Matthew Martell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago.

Chicago Cubs, Jason Heyward

Buchholz no stranger to returning from injury

Veteran righty focused on getting healthy for Spring Training
MLB.com

HOUSTON -- Veteran right-hander Clay Buchholz, disappointed that his role as a key member of the D-backs' pitching staff has ended prematurely because of an injury, sounded resolute in his quest to get healthy and be ready for Spring Training next year.

"I just have to have the right frame of mind about it," he said. "I've done it before. That's a comfort, knowing that I have come back from something more severe, and done a good job. That's what I'm looking forward to."

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HOUSTON -- Veteran right-hander Clay Buchholz, disappointed that his role as a key member of the D-backs' pitching staff has ended prematurely because of an injury, sounded resolute in his quest to get healthy and be ready for Spring Training next year.

"I just have to have the right frame of mind about it," he said. "I've done it before. That's a comfort, knowing that I have come back from something more severe, and done a good job. That's what I'm looking forward to."

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The 34-year-old Buchholz was placed on the 60-day DL on Saturday, one day after the club announced the right-hander will be shut down for the rest of the year with a right elbow flexor strain. Right-handed reliever Randall Delgado was selected from Triple-A Reno and will join the D-backs bullpen.

Buchholz, who missed almost all of 2017 with the Phillies due to a partial tear in his right flexor tendon, will begin a series of PRP (platelet-rich plasma) treatments and plans to be ready to audition for a spot on a Major League starting staff, whether it's with the D-backs or elsewhere. Though unhappy that his season ended early, Buchholz listed a couple of reasons to be optimistic, including the realization that unlike his injury last year, this one doesn't require surgery.

"Last year, it pulled the bone off my elbow," he said. "It's not that. It's more muscle. It's probably some fatigue I'm dealing with."

Buchholz was having a nice season for Arizona after joining the team in mid-May. He made 16 starts, posting a 7-2 record and a 2.01 ERA while recording 81 strikeouts and holding opponents to a .220 batting average.

Video: ARI@COL: Buchholz gets scratched, Koch gets the nod

He cut his warmup session short last Thursday after 26 pitches, minutes before he was to start against the Colorado Rockies. He said he felt something in his arm around the fifth inning during his prior start, against the Braves on Sept. 8, but he didn't think much of it, especially since he pitched into the seventh inning. But he knew something was wrong early in his warmup routine in Colorado.

"I wish I would have done it a little bit sooner, given them a little more heads-up and notice," Buchholz said. "I wouldn't have been helping this club out, going out there feeling like that. That was the hardest thing to do."

Next on the docket for Buchholz is offer support to his teammates as they continue their playoff push. When the season is over, he'll concentrate on recovering and readying himself for next season.

"I'll root my team on and be here for them if they need anything," he said. "I'll head into the offseason, get strong and come back next year."

Whether that's with the D-backs will be decided in the offseason.

"Everybody knows how I feel about Clay, and the team knows what he's meant, and the organization knows what he's meant," manager Torey Lovullo said. "First thing is to get healthy."

Delgado, 28, has appeared in six games for the D-backs this season, allowing four earned runs over seven innings. The righty reliever was designated for assignment by Arizona on July 25, released on July 31, and re-signed with the club on a Minor League contract on Aug. 18.

With Reno, Delgado allowed four earned runs over 18 innings for a 2.00 ERA. He recorded a .169 batting average against with 14 strikeouts in 13 appearances (one start), including a 0.93 ERA and seven strikeouts in five games after returning to the organization.

He'll be used in a relief role, but will be eased back in as he shakes off any rust that may have developed after Reno's season ended Sept. 3.

"We're excited to have him back," Lovullo said. "Stuff-wise, he was trending toward the Randall we remember. He's going to get to the ball. We'll use him in different situations, maybe not in high-leverage right now, but different situations, to stop momentum and get big outs for us."

Said Delgado: "Mentally, I'm strong. I've been trying to do light stuff, go through a routine. I've been playing catch the last couple days. I feel good. I feel like I can compete right now."

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.

Houston Astros, Randall Delgado

Judge returns to play defense; can't hit yet

MLB.com

NEW YORK -- The roar swelled from the right-field grandstands when Aaron Judge ascended the dugout steps late on Friday evening, chomping on bubblegum as his 6-foot-7 frame lumbered toward the slugger's first assignment of defensive duty in seven weeks and a day.

As Judge acknowledged the robed customers in his Chambers and handed a ball off to the front row, the ovation spread throughout all of Yankee Stadium. No balls were hit near Judge during the final two innings of an 11-0 Yankees rout over the Blue Jays, but it still felt like an important occasion.

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NEW YORK -- The roar swelled from the right-field grandstands when Aaron Judge ascended the dugout steps late on Friday evening, chomping on bubblegum as his 6-foot-7 frame lumbered toward the slugger's first assignment of defensive duty in seven weeks and a day.

As Judge acknowledged the robed customers in his Chambers and handed a ball off to the front row, the ovation spread throughout all of Yankee Stadium. No balls were hit near Judge during the final two innings of an 11-0 Yankees rout over the Blue Jays, but it still felt like an important occasion.

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Video: TOR@NYY: Judge, Boone on the outfielder's return

"Big time," Judge said. "Anytime I can get back on the field. I was nervous out there just standing in the outfield. I didn't even catch any balls. Just getting those jitters out of the way now it's good. When I get that first at-bat again, it'll be like I never left."

The Yankees activated Judge from the 10-day disabled list prior to Friday's game, though manager Aaron Boone said that Judge will not yet be permitted to bat in games. For the time being, Judge will continue his rehab from a right wrist fracture by seeing action as a pinch-runner or a defensive replacement.

Judge salutes fans, throws souvenirs in RF return

"If we can knock off a little bit of the rust with a baserunning situation or to get out in the field for a couple of innings, I think there's value in it," Boone said.

Judge assumed Aaron Hicks' place in the batting order while Brett Gardner moved from left field to center field. Andrew McCutchen moved from right to left field, marking his first career appearance at the position, and said he had marveled at getting to see Judge in action.

"I finally got to watch him and [Giancarlo] Stanton take batting practice," McCutchen said. "I saw some pretty impressive stuff. I know people who have been here all year, to them, it's probably normal. It's not normal. It was awesome."

Tweet from @Yankees: Welcome back, @TheJudge44 pic.twitter.com/fz3AeWCIiH

Judge may be crushing batting practice moonshots, but he has acknowledged that there continues to be discomfort in the wrist.

"It's still healing," Judge said. "It takes a while for the bone to heal. Once that heals, that'll be probably the offseason by the time it starts feeling 100 percent."

Video: Boone discusses Judge being activated from DL

Judge will continue to take batting practice over the weekend, and Boone said that Judge could be a full player by the end of the homestand. A trip to face pitching at the Yankees' Player Development complex in Tampa, Fla., is a strong possibility.

"I think once I start seeing some live pitching, no matter where it's at, I think that'll get me going," Judge said.

Judge was hitting .285/.398/.548 with 26 homers at the time of the injury, which he sustained on a hit-by-pitch from the Royals' Jakob Junis.

Judge took on-field batting practice all three days during the Yankees' visit to Target Field, and he made several one-hop throws to third base and home plate from right field on Wednesday afternoon. Those workouts in near-empty facilities didn't hold a candle to what Judge experienced on Friday.

"They turn Yankee Stadium alive; it's amazing what those fans do," Judge said. "We saw what they did in the playoffs last year. I was excited to be back out there with them and get ready for these last couple of games before the playoffs."

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

Tigers call up Kozma to provide infield depth

Iglesias moved to 60-day DL, likely out for rest of season
MLB.com

CLEVELAND -- Shortstop Jose Iglesias may have played his last game in a Tigers uniform.

Though he received a cortisone shot on Wednesday, Iglesias was transferred to the 60-day disabled list on Friday afternoon to make room for infielder Pete Kozma, who was recalled from Triple-A Toledo. The move was announced prior to the opener of a three-game series against the American League Central-leading Indians at Progressive Field. Iglesias was placed on the 10-day DL on Aug. 30 with a lower abdominal strain and he did not travel with the team, according to manager Ron Gardenhire.

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CLEVELAND -- Shortstop Jose Iglesias may have played his last game in a Tigers uniform.

Though he received a cortisone shot on Wednesday, Iglesias was transferred to the 60-day disabled list on Friday afternoon to make room for infielder Pete Kozma, who was recalled from Triple-A Toledo. The move was announced prior to the opener of a three-game series against the American League Central-leading Indians at Progressive Field. Iglesias was placed on the 10-day DL on Aug. 30 with a lower abdominal strain and he did not travel with the team, according to manager Ron Gardenhire.

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"More than likely, he's done for the season," Gardenhire said.

Iglesias has been the club's everyday shortstop since 2013, when he was acquired from the Red Sox. The seven-year veteran made his debut with Boston in 2011 and he is poised to become a free agent at the end of the season. The 28-year-old Iglesias is hitting .269/.310/.389, not far off from his .270 career average with a .678 OPS.

However, what's impressed Gardenhire -- in his first year as the Tigers' manager -- most about Iglesias is his defensive ability.

"I've seen him from the other side for a few other ballclubs, but finally getting to watch him actually play shortstop, I didn't realize how good he is," Gardenhire said. "He can really do some things. So that's been fun to watch him go about his business. He's done a really good job."

It's unclear if Iglesias wishes to sign another contract with the Tigers.

"We know what we're doing as an organization," Gardenhire said. "He's had a [heck] of a year, [but] that's going to be up to the bosses up there. We have backup plans, it's called young kids."

Video: DET@SEA: Kozma dives, fires to first for terrific out

Kozma gives the club additional shortstop depth in the absence of Iglesias and utility man Niko Goodrum, who exited Wednesday's game against the Astros. Goodrum has been day to day with a right quad contusion. With no clear timetable for his return, Ronny Rodriguez is the only other option at shortstop, besides Kozma.

Tigers prospects Willie Castro and Sergio Alcantara could have been brought up along with Kozma, but Gardenhire said the club was reluctant to call up prospects without Major League experience. Outfielder JaCoby Jones played the middle infield spots coming up through the Minors, but Gardenhire said Jones would play there only in an "emergency."

Kozma, 30, appeared in 15 games for the Tigers prior to Friday, hitting .175/.195/.300 in 40 at-bats. The seven-year Major League veteran spent most of this season with the Mudhens, slashing .203/.260/.295 with a home run, two triples and 18 doubles in 83 games.

"He's played in the big leagues as a shortstop and anywhere in the infield, and he can pick it," Gardenhire said. "We desperately needed that after [Goodrum] got hurt. We're very limited. He's the kind of guy that's been there and done that. We like him.

"We know he's not going to bring a lot to the table with the bat, but he can put it in play and he knows how to do a lot of things, but more than anything else solidify shortstop so we can catch our breath right now."

Indians set to honor V-Mart
Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez will be honored by the Indians during a pregame ceremony on Saturday in celebration of his 17-year career. Martinez announced earlier this year that 2018 will be his final season in the Majors. Martinez was first signed by the Indians as an amateur free agent in 1996, and he was in the Tribe's organization until 2009, spending parts of eight MLB seasons in Cleveland since his debut in 2002.

Casey Harrison is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland.

Detroit Tigers, Jose Iglesias, Pete Kozma

Harper and Machado in Philly in '19? Why not?

MLB.com

Will Bryce Harper or Manny Machado end up in Philadelphia next season? Why not both?

According to a report from Fancred's Jon Heyman on Friday, multiple rival executives think the Phillies might be able to land both of the biggest superstar free agents on the market this offseason.

Will Bryce Harper or Manny Machado end up in Philadelphia next season? Why not both?

According to a report from Fancred's Jon Heyman on Friday, multiple rival executives think the Phillies might be able to land both of the biggest superstar free agents on the market this offseason.

Philadelphia has come up plenty of times as a potential destination for Harper and Machado. MLB.com's Todd Zolecki has previously reported that Philadelphia will target both players when they hit free agency after this season, and that the club could sign both.

Making such a big splash would certainly make the Phillies a favorite to contend for a playoff spot in the National League East in 2019. The team's rebuild has accelerated faster than expected -- the Phils entered Friday 74-71 and in second place in the division -- and Harper and Machado are two of the top position players in the game. Adding either one, let alone both, could be the difference-making piece for a postseason push.

The Phillies have shown they're willing to spend in the offseason, having brought in big-ticket free agents Jake Arrieta and Carlos Santana this past offseason to complement their core of homegrown young stars like Aaron Nola and Rhys Hoskins. Even with the deals they handed out to Arrieta and Santana, the Phils still have a relatively low payroll and plenty of room to add another marquee player or two entering 2019.

The 25-year-old Harper is hitting .247/.388/.503 with 33 home runs and 94 RBIs for the Nationals this season. Machado, who's 26, is hitting .302/.374/.545 with 34 homers and 93 RBIs between the Orioles and Dodgers.

David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.

Philadelphia Phillies, Bryce Harper, Manny Machado

Guerra, one of 4 callups, to get look at SS

'He's elite defensively,' Green says of 22-year-old
MLB.com

SEATTLE -- The Padres recalled four players from Triple-A before Tuesday's game against the Mariners -- moves that mostly served to reinforce the bullpen now that El Paso's season has come to an end.

But shortstop Javy Guerra -- the lone position player to earn a callup -- is a particularly intriguing roster option entering the 2019 season.

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SEATTLE -- The Padres recalled four players from Triple-A before Tuesday's game against the Mariners -- moves that mostly served to reinforce the bullpen now that El Paso's season has come to an end.

But shortstop Javy Guerra -- the lone position player to earn a callup -- is a particularly intriguing roster option entering the 2019 season.

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Guerra was joined by right-handers Kazuhisa Makita and Colten Brewer and left-hander Brad Wieck in being promoted Tuesday. Over three seasons in the Padres' system, Guerra still hasn't quite pieced it together offensively.

He arrived in the Craig Kimbrel trade prior to the 2016 season as a very highly touted prospect. But Guerra has batted .217 at three different levels since then, and his Minor League strikeout rate has hovered around 33 percent.

Video: SD@ELP: Guerra plates Bousfield on a fielder's choice

Still, there's a noteworthy vacancy at shortstop in San Diego for the start of next season. Freddy Galvis is set to become a free agent and top prospect Fernando Tatis Jr., ranked No. 2 in baseball by MLB Pipeline, is coming off thumb surgery and probably destined to start next year in the Minors.

The Padres have some decisions to make this offseason, and Guerra could factor prominently.

The first question that must be answered is whether to bring back Galvis -- a decision that could hinge on his contract demands and the rest of the league's interest. If the answer is no, the Padres would likely need a stopgap before Tatis' arrival. That's where Guerra could factor in.

In any case, Guerra's glove makes him a roster possibility regardless of how the Padres decide to play it this offseason.

"He's elite defensively at shortstop," said manager Andy Green. "... When you can defend that position, you tend to find some sort of role in the big leagues. For him, that's his primary asset, and his versatility -- we'll test that in time, too."

Guerra is going to get sporadic starts at shortstop -- meaning time on the bench for Galvis, who has started every game there this season. Luis Urias, MLB Pipeline's top-ranked second-base prospect, is likely to start at shortstop, too.

Galvis is the owner of the Majors' longest consecutive games played streak at 309, and Green noted that he'd do everything in his power to get Galvis into those games. But it's clear the Padres have one eye on their future at the position.

At the plate, Guerra hasn't been stupendous this year, but his .774 second-half OPS was a jump of 172 points from the first half. The Padres don't need Guerra to set the world on fire offensively to be a valuable contributor. They'd just like him to hold his own.

"For him, it's just a progression of trusting himself, not thinking too much in the batter's box and cutting loose on the pitches he can hit," Green said. "We'll just try to keep it from being overly complicated."

Guerra struck out in two pinch-hit at-bats in May during a brief callup.

Kennedy's season likely finished
An MRI on the left knee of rookie righty Brett Kennedy revealed "serious tendinitis," according to Green, and it appears as though Kennedy's season could be over prematurely.

"We're still trying to work through what the best course of action is for him, but I'd say starting again this year is probably somewhat in jeopardy for him," Green said.

In six starts since his mid-August callup, Kennedy posted a 6.75 ERA. He picked up his first career victory with six shutout frames against the Rockies on Aug. 31. But he struggled in his next start Friday night in Cincinnati. Kennedy allowed four runs in 1 2/3 frames and had trouble with his landing leg -- prompting the Padres to take a look at his ailing left knee.

Video: COL@SD: Kennedy tosses 6 scoreless innings vs. Rox

Worth noting
• When Wieck appears in a game, it'll mark the big league debut for the 26-year-old left-hander. He owns a 2.53 ERA in 46 1/3 innings between Double- and Triple-A this season, and he's found a groove lately, too. Wieck has pitched 11 innings since the start of August, and he's allowed just one run on six hits while striking out 22.

"It doesn't matter where I'm at or who I'm throwing against," Wieck said. "It's just about staying focused on what you're doing and your own gameplan and plan of attack."

Austin Hedges and Francisco Mejia will split time behind the plate over the next three weeks, and the Padres view their trip to Seattle as a chance to get both bats in the lineup. Hedges made his second career start at designated hitter on Tuesday night.

"We're committed here to giving our DH at-bats to our catchers," Green said. "Those two guys right now are very intriguing bats. ... It's no secret we're splitting time back there behind the plate, so the opportunity to get those guys extra at-bats is good."

Video: Must C Classic: Mejia hits 2 HRs in 1st Padres start

• Green acknowledged that Tuesday's moves most likely represent the last of the Padres' September callups. The roster currently sits at 33 players.

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

San Diego Padres, Javy Guerra