The Pittsburgh Pirates placed second baseman Neil Walker on the 15-day disabled list prior to Friday night’s game against the Washington Nationals due to an injured right hand.
Pittsburgh also selected the contract of veteran right-hander Jose Contreras and recalled infielder Jordy Mercer from Triple-A Indianapolis and optioned right-handed reliever Jared Hughes to the same club.
The move with Walker is retroactive to April 27 and the Pirates are hopeful he will be ready to be activated May 12. He is hitting .253 with one home run and eight RBI in 23 games.
Brandon Inge is expected to make the majority of starts at second base in Walker’s absence.
Contreras, 41, was signed to a minor-league contract as a free agent Feb. 23 and made six relief appearances in the Pirates’ farm system, with a 3.86 ERA in seven innings.
Dodgers lose Lilly to rib injury
The Los Angeles Dodgers placed left-hander Ted Lilly on the 15-day disabled list with a strain in his right rib cage and activated Friday night starter Clayton Kershaw from the bereavement list. Kershaw was to pitch the opener of a weekend series against the San Francisco Giants on regular rest after being away from the club following the death of his father.
Lilly (0-1, 5.63 ERA) underwent MRI exams on his neck and rib cage Monday and received an injection in the rib cage.
Cardinals demote Boggs
The St. Louis Cardinals ran out of patience with Mitchell Boggs, demoting the reliever saddled with a 12.66 ERA to Triple-A Memphis. Boggs, who began the year as the stand-in closer for injured Jason Motte, walked both batters he faced in the seventh inning at Milwaukee on Thursday night and has allowed 17 hits and 10 walks in 10⅔ innings.
First baseman Matt Adams was sent on a rehab assignment and could return from a right oblique injury next week.
The Cardinals purchased the contract of Carlos Martinez from Double-A Springfield where he was 1-0 with a 2.31 ERA.
Zimmerman ready to play
The Nationals activated third baseman Ryan Zimmerman from the 15-day disabled list on Friday and he was in the starting lineup in the weekend series opener against the Pirates. Rookie third baseman Anthon Rendon was optioned to Double-A Harrisburg of the Eastern League. Zimmerman had been on the disabled list since April 18 with a strained left hamstring and the Nationals were 6-8 in his absence. He played in one game for high Class A Potomac on an injury rehabilitation assignment, going 0-for-3 on Wednesday against Carolina. Zimmerman went into Friday’s game with a .226 batting average, 61 points below his .287 career mark.
Mets send down Cowgill
The New York Mets optioned center fielder Collin Cowgill to Triple-A Las Vegas and called up Andrew Brown to take his place. After going 2-for-5 with a grand slam in the season opener, Cowgill hit .155 with one homer and five RBI over his next 46 at-bats.