Gil Meche went on the 15-day disabled list Saturday, a move that is sure to rouse critics who say he’s been poorly handled by Kansas City Royals manager Trey Hillman.
The right-hander (4-9) has been bothered off and on by lower back problems much of the year. Some have criticized Hillman for letting him throw 114 or more pitches in several outings while his back problems keep flaring up.
Meche, a first-round pick by Seattle in 1996 who pitched 147 games for the Mariners, is winless in five starts since throwing 132 pitches in a complete-game shutout in June. About to turn 31, he’s on pace for his fewest wins and most losses since signing a five-year, $55 million contract on Dec. 8, 2006.
Meche will be replaced in the rotation by Sidney Ponson, who was brought off the DL after compiling a 2.18 ERA in six rehab starts at Triple-A Omaha.
Thumb sidelines Braun
All-Star outfielder Ryan Braun has a sore right thumb that kept him out of the Milwaukee Brewers’ lineup Saturday.
Braun was hit by a pitch from Cincinnati’s Bronson Arroyo in the fifth inning of the Reds’ 4-0 win Friday night.
The ball hit Braun in the left forearm and deflected across his hands, catching his right thumb. X-rays on Saturday found no fracture.
Martinez throws in bullpen
Pedro Martinez threw his first bullpen session as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies.
The 55-pitch session is a small first step toward Martinez pitching for the Phillies. He’ll join Class-A Clearwater on Monday and likely make at least a few starts in the minors before returning to the majors.
The Florida Marlins broke ground on the team’s retractable-roof stadium in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood. The ballpark, which is expected to be completed by opening day 2012, is being built on a patch of land where the now-demolished Orange Bowl once stood. ...
The Red Sox recalled starting shortstop Jed Lowrie from Triple-A Pawtucket. ...
Manager Bobby Cox and former pitcher Greg Maddux have mutual interest in Maddux serving as an instructor for the Atlanta Braves in spring training next year. ...
Tigers reliever Joel Zumaya went on the 15-day disabled list because of a sore right shoulder. ... Milwaukee right-hander Dave Bush will rest his tired pitching arm for five days, pushing back the Brewers’ plans for his return to the rotation. ...
Left-hander Scott Olsen, who has been scratched from his next scheduled start for the Nationals because of a tightness in a back muscle, will get a second opinion on the problem from Dr. James Andrews on Monday. ...
Angels left fielder Juan Rivera has left the game against Oakland with tightness in his right leg. ... The Cardinals activated utilityman Mark DeRosa (left wrist) from the 15-day DL.