– Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com writes that there’s “a growing feeling” that 1B Ryan Howard (Achilles) and 2B Chase Utley (knee) could join the team sometime in June. Howard recently began taking batting practice in Florida, but it’s unclear when he’ll be ready for game action. Utley is also taking batting practice, but just recently started taking ground balls on the infield this week, so it’s not yet known how his knees will respond to increased activity. Regardless, the general consensus is that Howard will return first, while Utley is more of a wildcard. A more definitive timeline should be known when they go on their respective rehab assignments. Stay tuned.
– The Giants have signed RHP Brad Penny to a minor league contract. Penny was recently released from his contract with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks of Japan’s Pacific League so that he could return to the United States. He’ll report to extended spring training on Monday. The 33-year-old had a poor 5.30 ERA and 74/62 K/BB ratio across 181 2/3 innings last year for the Tigers.
– Royals’ LHP Danny Duffy (left elbow) has a torn ulnar collateral ligament, and will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery, according to Dr. Lewis Yocum. Duffy will have the surgery in Los Angeles within the next two weeks, and will likely miss the beginning of the 2013 season.
– Cardinals’ RHP Kyle McClellan (right elbow) has been diagnosed with a strained flexor pronator and a small tear of his ulnar collateral ligament and is out indefinitely. McClellan left Thursday’s game due to the injury and was examined by Cardinals’ head team physician Dr. George Paletta on Friday. The tear is believed to be small enough where he’ll attempt to rehab the elbow for a couple weeks in hopes of avoiding a second Tommy John surgery.
– The Padres have placed RHP Tim Stauffer (right elbow strain) on the 15-day DL retroactive to May 15. Stauffer, who began the season on the DL, made his season debut Monday against the Nationals and gave up four runs (three earned) over five innings.
– Nationals’ OF Michael Morse (lat) took swings off a tee Friday. Morse is ramping up baseball activities after being shut down in April with a torn right lat muscle. He’s expected to travel to Viera, Florida on Monday to begin getting at-bats in extended spring training games. Barring setbacks, he could join the Nationals’ lineup in early June.
– Cubs’ RHP Kerry Wood ended his career by striking out White Sox’ OF Dayan Viciedo, the lone hitter he faced, in Friday’s game against the White Sox. Wood then got to walk off the mound to a standing ovation and a hug from his son on the way to the dugout.
– The Cardinals have placed 1B/OF Allen Craig (strained left hamstring) on the 15-day DL retroactive to May 17. The 27-year-old is hitting .373/.424/.765 with five homers, 19 RBI and a 1.188 OPS through 59 plate appearances this season.
– Friday’s Rockies game was delayed in the 5th inning due to a swarm of bees on the field. Check it out:
– Former MLB superstar and former steroid user Jose Canseco made his debut with the Worcester Tornadoes on Thursday, finishing with two walks and two strikeouts. Check out the highlights:
– The MLB has suspended umpire Bob Davidson 1 game for his language used against Phillies’ manager Charlie Manuel during an Astros/Phillies game.
“Umpire Bob Davidson has received a one-game suspension for his repeated violations of the Office of the Commissioner’s standards for situation handling, Major League Baseball announced today. Davidson’s suspension is to be served tonight, when his crew will work the Minnesota Twins-Milwaukee Brewers game at Miller Park. A Minor League call-up umpire will fill Davidson’s spot in tonight’s game.”
– Cardinals’ RB Beanie Wells (arthroscopic right knee surgery) is still rehabbing the injury, and “doesn’t know” when he’ll be back on the field, according tot he team’s website. Wells underwent a second arthroscopic surgery over the past three seasons this offseason. ”I’m rehabbing, just trying to get back… Being ready for training camp is the most important thing.”
– TMZ and RadarOnline are reporting that former WWE diva Chyna was rushed to a hospital by paramedics on Friday after being found unconscious and slumped over backstage at an adult film convention in Miami, Florida. Chyna was scheduled to appear at the 2012 Exxxotica Expo for a meet and greet with her fans.
– Dolph Ziggler has issued a challenge to any WWE Superstar to an Iron Man Match at the 1,000th episode of Monday Night RAW on July 23rd:
“i challenge ANY @WWE #wwe SUPERSTAR to an #IronManMatch July 23rd! #3hourRaw #ShowStolen #AnyTAKERs?”
– WWE held its first set of NXT tapings on Thursday night from its new home – Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida. Check out this first batch of images of the new NXT arena:
– Zack Ryder is back with Episode 67 of the Z! True Long Island Story. This week’s show features footage of Dolph Ziggler attacking him at a recent live event, Ryder complaining about not being featured on RAW for the 3rd week in a row, the debut of his show’s new mascot and more. and more:
– Former ROH World champion and WWE developmental star Seth Rollins (formerly Tyler Black) made his NXT debut at Thursday night’s first-ever tapings from Full Sail University. Rollins tweeted the following about his debut:
“New era of NXT kicked off with a bang tonight. Thanks to Full Sail and everyone in attendance for making it a special night.”
– Check out Pacers’ F Lance Stephenson calling Heat’ F LeBron James a choker for missing two key free throws:
– TNA star Gunner announced on Friday that he’s signed a new deal that will keep him in TNA through 2015. He tweeted:
“Proud to say I’ve signed 3 more years with Impact wrestling aka TNA! I will make the most out of this! World Champion? Oneday, ya damn rite”
TNA referee Earl Hebner also announced on Friday that he’s signed a new TNA contract. He tweeted:
“I signed with TNA for 2013. This is home for me. When I leave, my ref shirt and boots will be hanging on TNA ring ropes.”
– TNA president Dixie Carter tweeted the following PPV poster for Destination X on July 8. The poster features X Division champion Austin Aries with the caption, “I Am The Main Event”–a sign that Destination X will once again be an X Division-themed show.
– Christopher Daniels posted the following video reaction to Impact Wrestling going live this summer (starting 5/31) and Brooke Hogan joining the company: