With Jim Edmonds moving on to the Reds and Carlos Gomez recovering from a concussion, 24-year-old Lorenzo Cain has had an opportunity to demonstrate he belongs in the Brewers' outfield.
"Most definitely," Cain told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "I just have to do my part so I can make it easy on them to make me a part of this team in the future. I would love to be a regular guy in the outfield. That's what I'm working for."
Cain is hitting .364, with 12 hits in 33 at-bats in 12 games. He has also added three walks and scored five runs, and in the field he has been playing outstanding defense with great range. Cain was a Double-A All-Star in the Southern League.
Yankees foursome brings smiles in the name of HOPE: On Monday the Yankees kicked off the second annual HOPE (Helping Others Persevere and Excel) Week, a five-day campaign in which players reach out to disadvantaged people. First on the schedule was Jorge Grajales, who was greeted at a surprise party by foster mother Faye Dyksen, her friends, Anthony and Jen DiTommaso, school friends and a host of Yankees -- players Mariano Rivera, Nick Swisher, Brett Gardner and Dustin Moseley and coaches Kevin Long and Mike Harkey. When Rivera appeared out of a side door to the back yard, Grajales was overjoyed.
"When I saw them walking out, I was like, 'Wow, real Yankee players in person, finally!'" Grajales, 13, told the New York Daily News.
Red-hot Stanton claims weekly honors: Mike Stanton was named National League Player of the Week. He batted .583, with nine of his 14 hits going for extra bases. The rookie had four homers and eight RBIs in that stretch.
"I don't even think he knew there was a Player of the Week," Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "If he keeps swinging the way he's been swinging and playing the way he's been playing, definitely his name has to be up there. We have a month and a half to go. If he keeps putting his numbers up there, they have to take Mike into consideration.
Marcum on the board with complete game: Shaun Marcum pitched his first career complete game in a one-hit victory over Oakland on Monday night.
"First one," Marcum told the Toronto Sun. "Hopefully, there's more to come. Like I said, any time you're a control pitcher, and you're able to locate, keep the ball down and stay ahead of the hitters, you've got a chance for success."
Bourjos turning heads with his speed: The Angels called up Peter Bourjos for speed and defense. But how quick is he?
"He's up there with the best in the league, with [Pittsburgh's Andrew] McCutchen and [Tampa Bay's Carl] Crawford. With our own Erick Aybar," teammate Howie Kendrick told the Los Angeles Times. "We were coming around the bases the other day, and I looked back and he was right on me, so I had to get it in gear."
Prado provides a spark in return: The Braves activated Martin Prado from the disabled list, and the infielder picked up right where he left off by getting three hits on Tuesday. The big difference was that Prado played third base for the injured Chipper Jones after playing second base for most of the season.
"He hadn't hit until last night in Gwinnett for 16, 17 days, something like that," manager Bobby Cox told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "He was right on everything tonight. He didn't miss a beat, and he played great at third base as well. It was a big night for his return."
"Hopefully, he's a big shot in the arm for this team," teammate Matt Diaz said. "He's the one who turned our offense around early with the big homer in Milwaukee. Maybe getting him back is a shot in the arm, and hopefully, we can reel off another streak like that offensively."
Takahashi comes through as closer: On Monday, Mets manager Jerry Manuel turned to Hisanori Takahashi to close out the Astros in a 3-1 win.
Takahashi, who was a closer for a season in Japan, threw a perfect ninth inning to earn the save.
"Takahashi has a feeling, an instinct," Manuel told the New York Daily News. "You can put it in play, but we feel it's not going to be with much authority."
Carlos Pena makes a splash in return: Activated from the disabled list on Monday, Carlos Pena scored the Rays' first run and later singled in the go-ahead run against the Rangers.
"It was just a lot of fun to be back around the guys," Pena told the St. Petersburg Times. "And to contribute just makes it that much better."
Pedroia makes a welcome return: Dustin Pedroia, who missed nearly two months with a broken foot, was back in the Boston lineup Tuesday night.
"He's one of the anchors on this team," teammate Clay Buchholz told the Boston Herald. "He's able to go out there and make things happen that normal players can't do. He's a spark plug for the offense and defense. He's a key component of this team, and once he gets back and gets his feel back, I think he's definitely going to be fun to watch."
Wainwright lets his numbers speak volumes: For the most part, Adam Wainwright lets his work speak for itself.
"I can understand how the media gets its darlings," Wainwright told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "I don't throw the hardest in the league. I'm not the flashiest guy in the league. I never will be. But I'm a pretty good pitcher. ... And what I know is this: If I continue to go out and make my starts, put in the work between starts, I'm going to be just fine.
"I'll be in the conversation at the end of the year."
Marshall fine with latest role as reliever: Sean Marshall prefers to work as a starter. But after plenty of success out of the bullpen this season, he knows he may once again be working in relief for the Cubs in 2011.
"Like I say every year, I'll prepare myself to start and be able to fall back on the bullpen or reliever role again if I need to," Marshall told the Chicago Sun-Times. "I've been able to help as the guy in the bullpen this year, and I've really enjoyed it all year. They know that I've liked relieving this year, too. I think I can handle both duties equally well. And hopefully if the team needs a starter, I can go back to starting, or if they need me to continue to set up games, I can do that, too."
Damon not planning to chase 3,000 hits: Johnny Damon knows he wants to play at least one more year but says he won't stick around just to chase individual records -- including 3,000 hits. He's sitting at 2,533 hits.
"I knew going into last offseason I wanted to play two more years," Damon told the Detroit News. "I'll play this year, I'll play next year, then I'll see where it takes me. If my body feels good, I'll keep going. But I've never played this game for individual accomplishment. That's why I say I'm going to play this year and I'm going to play next year. But to say 3,000 hits are on my radar ... wouldn't send the right message."
Chris Young making progress on the mound: Chris Young completed his fourth bullpen session on Monday and may need only one more before throwing a simulated game.
"We'll see where we are after his next bullpen, but it's encouraging," Padres manager Bud Black told the San Diego Union-Tribune after Young threw 60 pitches from the windup and stretch. "He also threw his change and slider as well as his fastball."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.