MLB notes: La Russa calls report of Gibson's return 'inaccurate'

The Diamondbacks have had a terrible season, which has made Kirk Gibson's return questionable for...

The Diamondbacks have had a terrible season, which has made Kirk Gibson's return questionable for next year. (Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports/Files)

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Struggling through a disappointing season, there was a report the Arizona Diamondbacks were expected to retain Kirk Gibson as manager next year.

Not so fast, says Diamondbacks chief baseball officer Tony La Russa.

Through a spokesperson Tuesday, La Russa said the USA Today report was inaccurate and that no decisions had been made.

La Russa cited comments made Monday, when he said, "I just think that at this point, we're at Aug. 18, I've been around three months, I've observed a lot, talked to and met with a lot of people in the organization. I have a much better idea. I just think the official comment is, we're at Aug. 18, the season is a month and 10 days from being over. So it won't be long until you have to trot out your plan officially."

The Diamondbacks have the fourth-worst record in baseball at 53-72 entering Tuesday's games, but USA Today reported La Russa, brought in three months ago to oversee baseball operations, is leaning toward giving Gibson another year in the dugout.

There was no indication about whether general manager Kevin Towers' job might be in jeopardy. He received criticism for some of the moves he made in the past and for the club's lack of success on the field.

Gibson took over as Diamondbacks manager in 2010 and has a 343-351 overall record. After winning the National League West title in 2011 with a 94-68 regular-season record, the Diamondbacks finished .500 each of the next two seasons before this year's slide. Gibson was National League manager of the year in 2011.

JIMENEZ TO BULLPEN

Ubaldo Jimenez is the odd man out of the Baltimore Orioles' rotation, and he is headed to the bullpen.

Manager Buck Showalter made the announcement before Tuesday's game against the White Sox in Chicago. Jimenez's rotation spot will be take later this week by Miguel Gonzalez, who will be recalled after a short stint in the minors.

"Sure, it was (a difficult discussion), but you have your reasons," Showalter said. "(Jimenez) doesn't have to agree with them, but he's been a great teammate, a great professional. He's got a good heart, and he wants to do well. It's not like he's pitched poorly all year."

Gonzalez, 30, was caught in a roster crunch Aug. 9 when Jimenez came off the 15-day disabled list to rejoin the rotation. Gonzalez was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk to create a spot for Jimenez and has been there since. He will return to start Sunday in Chicago against the Cubs.

Gonzalez is 6-6 with a 3.80 ERA in 20 appearances (19 starts) for the Orioles this season, while Jimenez is 4-9 with a 4.83 ERA in 20 starts.

Jimenez spent 5 1/2 seasons with the Colorado Rockies, then 2 1/2 seasons with the Cleveland Indians before signing a four-year, $50 million free agent deal with Baltimore in February.

MCCUTCHEN RETURNS

The Pittsburgh Pirates welcomed back centre fielder Andrew McCutchen on Tuesday with his activation from the 15-day disabled list.

McCutchen had been sidelined since Aug. 4 with a fracture in his lower left ribcage after he was hit by a pitch in a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

To clear a spot on the roster for McCutchen, the Pirates sent utility man Michael Martinez to Triple-A before Tuesday night's game against the Atlanta Braves.

McCutchen took batting practice and ran the bases before Monday night's 7-3 loss to the Braves in preparation for his return.

The Pirates went 5-9 since he went on the DL --- including losing their last six games --- and fell six games behind the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central and two games out in the wild-card standings.

"I felt pretty good out there," said McCutchen, who hit against Jeff Inman, a reliever with the Pirates' Double-A Altoona farm club. "I made some good contact with some balls. I pretty much did everything. Swings and misses, check swung, fouled balls off, and none of it bothered me. I'm ready to go."

INDIANS RE-SIGN ATCHISON

The Cleveland Indians signed reliever Scott Atchison to a contract for next season with a club option for 2016, the team announced Tuesday.

No financial terms were released by the Indians.

The 38-year-old right-hander has made 53 appearance out of the bullpen this season for the Indians and has a 6-0 record with a 2.95 ERA. Opposing hitters are batting .218 against Atchison, who is among the top American League relievers in wins, inherited runners scored and innings.

The Indians signed Atchison this season after he pitched in 50 games for the New York Mets in 2013.

Atchison has a 16-10 career record with two saves and a 3.51 ERA in 258 major league games since 2004 when he broke in with the Seattle Mariners.

DUNN PONDERS RETIRING

Adam Dunn isn't sure what he will decide to do in the offseason about the rest of his baseball career.

Speaking with the media Monday for the first time since telling an MLB.com reporter last weekend he was considering retirement, the 34-year-old veteran said he is no clearer on the subject a few days later.

"It's going to be a decision where I'm going to sit down with the people who are important to me and make a quick decision, whether it's tomorrow, whether it's February," Dunn said. "I don't know how to go about it, because I've never done it before. We'll see. I'm not really worried about it."

Dunn is in the last year of his contract with the White Sox, so unrestricted free agency awaits in the winter if he wants to pursue it. He said that building his career numbers wouldn't weigh in the decision, and neither would starting over in a new city, since the White Sox aren't expected to offer him a new contract.

MCLOUTH FACES SURGERY

Washington Nationals outfielder Nate McLouth will have season-ending shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum, the team announced Tuesday.

The 32-year-old McLouth, who was the Nationals' primary left-handed batter off the bench this year, had gone on the disabled list Aug. 4 with right shoulder soreness.

In McLouth's first season with the Nationals after signing a two-year, $10.75 million contract, he was limited to 79 games and batted .173 with one home run, seven RBIs and six doubles.

In two previous seasons with the Baltimore Orioles, McLouth batted a combined .261 with 19 homers, 54 RBIs and 42 steals in 201 games.

McLouth is scheduled to make $5 million next season and has a $6.5 million option or $750,000 buyout in 2016.

CHAPMAN DAY-TO-DAY

Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman is considered day to day with a sore shoulder after a wild four-walk outing Sunday in his last appearance on the mound.

Chapman walked all four batters he faced and threw 28 pitches in the Reds' 10-5 loss to the Colorado Rockies. It was just the second time this season in 39 appearances that Chapman allowed more than one batter to reach via a base on balls.

Despite the balky shoulder, the hard-throwing left-hander still averaged 99.5 mph with his fastball and reached 101.5 mph.

"He's just a little achy, and it just doesn't make sense at all for us to keep running him out there," Reds manager Bryan Price said, according to MLB.com. "He was a little achy. I didn't want to say anything, but he was. By the time we knew there might be an issue, the damage was done.


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