In his pinstripe debut, Eric Hinske provided a strong response to his first roll call from the right field bleacher crowd at Yankee Stadium.
07/08/2009 1:13 PM ET
Hinske shows muscle in Yankees debut
Newest Bomber flexes for crowd, then homers
Hinske, who was acquired from Pittsburgh last week and is familiar with the bleacher tradition at Yankee Stadium from his days with the Blue Jays, Red Sox and Rays, rolled up his right sleeve and flexed his right biceps when the Bleacher Creatures began chanting the right fielder's name.
Hinske said Brett Gardner and Joba Chamberlain prodded him to do it.
"They said, 'You have to do something cool, you can't just wave at 'em,'" Hinske told the New York Daily News. "That was a very cool experience. To hear them chanting my name out there was really cool. ... I've been on the other side of some of those cheers for seven years, so it was good to have them in my corner."
Hinske hit a solo home run in the fourth inning.
Promotion catches Bates by surprise: Aaron Bates, who started the season with Double-A Portland and appeared in 24 games with Triple-A Pawtucket, was caught off guard by his promotion to Boston on Sunday night.
Called into Pawtucket manager Ron Johnson's hotel room and told "You're going to Boston," Bates responded, "For what?'"
"Whatever they want me to do, I'm more than happy," Bates told the Boston Globe. "It's definitely a surprise. You got to go out there as best you can and try to play baseball."
Romero becoming rebound king: Ricky Romero's streak of 24 consecutive shutout innings ended in the bottom of the fourth inning on Monday against the Yankees, but the Blue Jays rookie continued to impress. Of Romero's seven wins, six of them have come after a Toronto loss.
"He just keeps getting better all the time. He's growing up every time out there," manager Cito Gaston told the Toronto Star. "That's the kind of stuff that Doc's [ace Roy Halladay] done for this organization for a long time. To see this kid come along, and he's starting to be one of those guys that can do that too for us and get us out of that rut that we're in."
Byrnes aiming for a speedy return: Eric Byrnes had the stitches in his left hand removed on Monday, 10 days after the Arizona outfielder needed a plate and eight screws inserted to repair a broken bone.
"I'm on the four-week timetable," Byrnes told the Arizona Republic. "I think the doctors and trainers are on the eight-week one, so we'll probably end up meeting in the middle."
Perez to make return to rotation: Oliver Perez will return to the Mets starting rotation on Wednesday against the Dodgers. He's been on the disabled list with patellar tendinitis in his right knee.
"I feel really strong," Perez told Newsday, "and I don't feel any pain in my knee."
Gonzalez proud of power at first base: Adrian Gonzalez will participate in the Home Run Derby contest Monday in St. Louis along with fellow NL first basemen Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder and Ryan Howard.
"That's pretty cool, the four of us on the All-Star team and going out together for the National League in the Home Run Derby," Gonzalez, who led the Major Leagues in homers through much of April and May, told the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Murphy relaxes at plate, sees average rise: Since an 0-for-23 start to the season, David Murphy is hitting .319.
"I didn't trust myself early in the season, and I felt like I had to make something happen," the Texas outfielder told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "I relaxed, and that helped my physical mechanics straighten themselves out naturally."
Brocail shows positive signs in bullpen session: Doug Brocail threw a bullpen session on Monday for the first time since being placed on the disabled list on May 4 with a torn left hamstring.
"This is just the first time we've seen him off the mound," Astros pitching coach Dewey Robinson told the Houston Astros. "Just from my end of it, he looked good. He only threw about 25 fastballs, but the ball's coming out of his hand good."
Beckham finding comfort zone at third base: Gordon Beckham, who has been a shortstop for most of his baseball life, is settling in at third base for the White Sox.
"I'm definitely getting better reads off the bat," Beckham, who added that he has learned to stay in one spot on certain grounders, told the Chicago Tribune. "I feel more comfortable every day."
Lilly looking beyond St. Louis: Ted Lilly, the only member of the Cubs heading to St. Louis next week for the All-Star Game, says he's hoping to help the NL -- and the Cubs -- by bringing home a victory.
"I'm excited, looking forward to it. I hope I get an opportunity to pitch in it. That would be fun," Lilly told the Chicago Tribune. "And then maybe we'll win so the Cubs can get some home-field advantage for the World Series."
Martinez thankful for healthy season: After playing in just 73 games last season thanks to hamstring and elbow issues, Victor Martinez has already surpassed that number this year. He's also heading to St. Louis next week to represent the Indians in the All-Star Game for the third time.
"The only thing that I'm really happy with right now is that my body is healthy," Martinez told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "The rest of the things will have to take care of themselves. For me, at this point, the biggest thing is that my body is healthy."
Victorino gets mayoral All-Star push: As one of five NL players up for the final spot on the All-Star team, Shane Victorino is getting all kinds of support -- including from Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter.
"He left whatever he was doing, running the city," Victorino told MLB.com. "I should go to the budget meetings and sit there and be like, 'No, I don't think that'll crunch. Those numbers don't crunch.'"
Whether he gets to the game or not, Victorino says he is enjoying the process.
"I'm looking forward to it," he said. "You know what? Hey, if I get there, I get there. If not, I'm happy for the recognition that I am getting."
Dunn staying put, for now: Adam Dunn was pleased to hear that Nationals acting general manager Mike Rizzo told ESPN radio, "We are not trading Adam Dunn."
"Good. That's good," Dunn told the Washington Post. "I've heard a lot of different things, the rumors, and it's every year with me. But that's really nice to know. That's one thing I don't have to worry about -- packing."
Finishing games important to Zito: Barry Zito took a 3-0 lead into the ninth inning Tuesday night before being taken out of the game with one out. The complete game was on his mind as the Giants topped the Marlins, 3-0.
"I haven't quite earned the right to get out of my jams late in the game," Zito told the San Francisco Chronicle. "A lot of games, I've given up one run, no runs into the sixth, seventh, then give up the lead. It's a right I have to earn back."
"It's very important," Zito said. "... It's important I step up and stay focused and do what I need to do and pick up the slack for [injured teammate] Randy [Johnson]."
Halladay has a fan in Hunter: The Blue Jays announced that they are accepting offers for Roy Halladay, and that was enough for Torii Hunter to offer his thoughts on teams acquiring the Toronto ace.
"If they're shopping Roy Halladay, everybody and their mama is going to be after him," Angels center fielder Torii Hunter told the Los Angeles Times. "He's the guy I'd build a rotation around.
"He's smart. He hits his spots. He goes deep into games. He's a bulldog. When the pressure is on, he's at his best. He's everything you'd want in a starting pitcher."
Holliday gets rave reviews from Geren: Matt Holliday has made a strong impression since joining Oakland last season. A's manager Bob Geren hopes the team holds on to the hard-hitting starting left fielder who is in the final year of his contract.
"I love Matt Holliday as a player and enjoy having him," Geren told the San Francisco Chronicle. "He's the same guy every day, one of the first guys here and one of the hardest workers you'll ever see."
Webb eager to get back on mound: Brandon Webb is determined to return to the mound this season, even though he is still four to six weeks from starting to throw.
The Arizona pitcher lasted only four innings on Opening Day before having to leave the game due to a shoulder injury. He's been on the disabled list ever since. After seeing five specialists and undergoing three MRI exams, Webb has been advised that he does not need surgery.
"If I want to play next year, whether it's here or somewhere else, I've got to show somebody I can throw," he told the Arizona Republic. "To myself, I've got to get confidence back out there on the mound that I need to carry into the offseason."
-- Red Line Editorial