MLB notes: Orioles disinfect clubhouse

Worried about a flu-like illness spreading amongst players, the Baltimore Orioles disinfected their...

Worried about a flu-like illness spreading amongst players, the Baltimore Orioles disinfected their clubhouse. (ROB CARR/Getty Images/AFP)

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, Last Updated: 9:29 PM ET

Concerned about the spread of a flu-type illness sweeping through the team, the Baltimore Orioles disinfected their entire clubhouse, mindful to clean things as small as the ping-pong paddles in the activity area of the room.

The team is trying to get a handle on the illness before it can spread beyond those infected this week. The flu-like symptoms became a distraction in recent days. Pitcher Evan Meek and center fielder Adam Jones are the two latest to be hit with it, after hitting coach Jim Presley and relief pitcher Brian Matusz were affected a few days ago.

Meek and Jones were sent home and wouldn't have played Tuesday had the game not been wiped out by weather.

Jones played Wednesday as designated hitter although manager Buck Showalter considered him in center field. Meek also was available, but dealing with this flu bug has been tough -- and the Rays are having problems with it, too.

"It's very contagious," Showalter said. "Unfortunately, a lot of it's very contagious before you really know you've got it. They went back over everything -- everything's a carrier."

Showalter said other players could begin dealing with the illness but did not disclose those impacted.

Right now, the Orioles are trying to get everyone healthy and hoping that the disinfected clubhouse helps do that.

ASTROS CALL UP TOP PROSPECT

Outfielder George Springer, the Houston Astros' most anticipated prospects in years, was called up to the majors from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Wednesday.

The Astros are hoping their prized prospect will be able to infuse life into an offense that has struggled through the first two weeks of the season.

Springer, 24, was hitting .353 with four doubles, one triple, three home runs, nine RBIs and four stolen bases in 13 games at Triple-A Oklahoma City this season.

Springer has posted multi-hit games in five of his last eight games and has homered in each of his last two contests, including a grand slam Tuesday night in a RedHawks' 11-9 win at Colorado Springs.

Springer was selected 11th overall by the Astros out of UConn in the 2011 amateur draft.

Ranked as the Astros' No. 3 prospect by MLB.com, Springer had an impressive 2013 season, combining to hit .303 with 27 doubles, 37 home runs, 108 RBIs and 45 stolen bases in 135 games with Oklahoma City and Double-A Corpus Christi.

The Astros also reinstated right-handed pitcher Scott Feldman from the Bereavement List and he will make his scheduled start Thursday against Kansas City. Feldman, 31, was placed on the Bereavement List on Saturday following the death of his father.

To make room for Springer and Feldman on the active roster, the Astros optioned outfielder Robbie Grossman to Oklahoma City and designated right-handed pitcher Lucas Harrell for assignment.

METS PROMOTE MATSUZAKA

The New York Mets beefed up their bullpen Wednesday by recalling Japanese right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka.

Matsuzaka, pitching at Triple-A Las Vegas to open the season, adds a veteran arm to their bullpen and potential insurance for the starting rotation.

"I actually expected to be in Vegas for longer, so this is pretty much out of the blue," Matsuzaka said through his interpreter. "But I'm glad. The earlier, the better, so I'm pretty happy about that."

Matsuzaka was beat by Jenrry Mejia for the Mets' fifth-starter job, but was performing well in Las Vegas, putting up a 2.25 earned-run average in two starts in Triple-A.

"Coming out of the bullpen is definitely something new to me, but I understand what's expected," Matsuzaka said. "I'll just have to do the best I can and pick things up as I go along."

To make room on the roster, the Mets outrighted lefty John Lannan.

GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS FOR DODGERS

The Los Angeles Dodgers got good news and bad news out of two bullpen sessions performed by injured pitchers Tuesday afternoon in San Francisco.

While manager Don Mattingly would have preferred to have a perfect day in the pregame activities, make no mistake about it: He was far happier with the good news than he was disappointed in the bad news.

Mattingly's contentment came out of left-hander Clayton Kershaw's all-fastball workout off the bullpen mound. The staff ace threw up to 85 mph, and most important, experienced no pain in his inflamed back.

The short display was so encouraging, Kershaw was immediately scheduled for an all-curveball session off a flat surface Wednesday. The Dodgers hope to have Kershaw back on the bullpen mound Thursday for another fastball-fest.

While no timetable is set, Mattingly indicated a minor league rehab start could be in Kershaw's near-future. That could happen by the end of the month.

Not bad for a guy some speculated might be out through the All-Star break.

The bad news before the game came out of Chad Billingsley's bullpen session, which had to be cut short because of recurring pain in the right-hander's surgically repaired elbow.

BRIEFLY

Los Angeles Angels outfielder Kole Calhoun is expected to be placed on the disabled list after suffering a ligament sprain in his ankle Tuesday night which will sideline him for 4-6 weeks, reports the Orange County Register ... The Seattle Mariners recalled young infielder Nick Franklin from triple-A Tacoma in time for Wednesday's game against the Texas Rangers ... The San Francisco Giants have released veteran pitcher Dontrelle Willis from their triple-A affiliate in Fresno after he reportedly suffered a serious arm injury Sunday. He has not pitched in the majors since 2011.


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