Cubs outfield prospect Billy McKinney went 1-for-2 with a walk and was hit by a pitch on Wednesday for High-A Daytona.
McKinney has gone 3-for-10 with two walks and a hit batsman over his first four games in the Chicago Cubs organization. He hit .241/.330/.400 with 12 doubles, two triples, and 10 home runs while playing for Stockton in the offense-friendly California League. It will be interesting to see how McKinney does in the in the less-offense-friendly Carolina League.
Ryan Braun (back) is in the Brewers' starting lineup on Thursday afternoon versus the Phillies.
Braun missed a couple of games with back spasms and is hitting fifth for Milwaukee in his return to action Thursday. He has only batted fifth three other times in his career. The last time he did was September 2008.
Cardinals left-handed pitching prospect Tim Cooney tossed eight innings of one-run baseball on Wednesday for Triple-A Memphis, scattering three hits while striking out eight.
Cooney projects as little more than a No. 5 starter, but he has done well in Triple-A, holding opposing batters to a .251/.320/.402 line with 6.6 K/9 over 110 2/3 innings. Cooney has consistently progressed since he was selected in the third round out of Wake Forest in 2012, and could see time in the majors later this year.
Tom Wilhelmsen is making his first major league start on Thursday afternoon against the Twins.
The career reliever is not expected to last longer than a couple of innings in what will be a true bullpen game for Seattle. Wilhelmsen picked up a three-inning save at the end of June and threw two perfect frames on July 5 against the White Sox, so he's a decently-conditioned option for this type of outing. The 30-year-old right-hander owns a 2.49 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and 40 strikeouts in 47 innings this season.
Cliff Lee (elbow) allowed three earned runs over four innings Wednesday at High-A Clearwater.
Lee needed just 32 pitches to get through the first three frames, fanning two and inducing six groundouts. He then got knocked around in the fourth inning, but some of the blame goes to the High-A Clearwater defenders. The veteran left-hander is on track to return from the disabled list shortly after the All-Star beak. He has been out since mid-May because of a left elbow strain.
According to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, the Rockies intend to re-sign impending free agent Michael Cuddyer.
Which obviously means that the veteran outfielder won't be made available around the July 31 trade deadline. The Rockies have a crowded outfield (with some good, cost-controlled young players) but team owner Dick Monfort loves Cuddyer's presence in the clubhouse and the feeling is that he wouldn't attract much of a return package on the trade market because of his current left shoulder injury. Negotiations toward a contract extension could begin later this summer.
Reds purchased the contract of UTIL Kristopher Negron from Triple-A Louisville.
Negron will add some needed depth and versatility to the Reds' bench with Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, and Billy Hamilton all fighting injuries. Negron last appeared in the majors in 2012. The 28-year-old can play all around the diamond but isn't a great hitter.
Reds optioned RHP Carlos Contreras to Triple-A Louisville.
Contreras posted a 2.08 ERA in 4 1/3 innings (three relief appearances) during his three-week stay in the majors. The right-hander should get a longer look soon.