MLB Notes

INDIANS: Designated hitter Travis Hafner is getting a second opinion on his sore right shoulder.


Hafner traveled to Birmingham, Ala., on Wednesday to be evaluated by renowned orthopedist Dr. James Andrews .

Indians head trainer Lonnie Soloff says Hafner is not progressing as quickly as hoped from the injury that landed him on the disabled list May 30.

Hafner, 31, is hitting .217 with four home runs this season and has been bothered by the shoulder since spring training.

YANKEES: Adding depth to their injury-riddled pitching staff, New York re-signed troubled right-hander Sidney Ponson to a minor league contract Wednesday.

With a history of off-the-field problems, Ponson was released Monday by the pitching-starved Texas Rangers for being a disruption to the team.

- Hideki Matsui was out of the Yankees' starting lineup Wednesday night against San Diego because of a swollen left knee.

- A Hard Rock Cafe will open in the new Yankee Stadium. The 7,000-square-foot restaurant will operate year-round in right field when the park makes its debut next season, the two organizations announced Wednesday.

TWINS: Nick Blackburn , whose Tuesday start was skipped because of a sore elbow, threw a full bullpen session Wednesday. "He'll be ready for Saturday," said manager Ron Gardenhire .

GIANTS: Right-handed pitcher Merkin Valdez , sidelined with a strained elbow, liked the news he received from his visit with Angels orthopedist Dr. Lewis Yocum on Tuesday.

There is no structural damage in the elbow, which is encouraging considering Valdez missed 2007 after Tommy John surgery.

REDS: Right-hander Homer Bailey has been sent back to the minors after the 22-year-old gave up five runs in only 2Q innings of a 9-0 loss to Boston on Sunday. In three starts this season, Bailey went 0-3 with an 8.76 ERA. The Reds activated outfielder Norris Hopper from the DL.

ROCKIES: Colorado agreed to terms with left-handed pitcher Christian Friedrich , the team's first-round draft pick.

The Rockies, who have agreed to terms with six of their top 10 selections, selected Friedrich 25th overall pick.

PIRATES: Catcher Ryan Doumit did not play Wednesday night against the White Sox with a slight concussion.

Doumit was hit in the mask by foul balls three times during Tuesday's 16-5 loss to the White Sox and is expected to miss at least two days.

MARLINS: Left fielder Josh Willingham , out since April with a bad back, could rejoin the Marlins early next week.

Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez said he might be rushed back this weekend, but the likelihood is he will be recalled next Tuesday against Tampa Bay.



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