Jepsen ready for postseason pressure
Angels reliever looking forward to adrenaline rush
Kevin Jepsen is looking forward to pitching for the Angels in the 2009 postseason.
Jepsen pitched in nine games as a September call-up last year but never got to the mound in the playoffs. This season, he has a 4.30 ERA in 45 games while limiting right-handed batters to a .209 average and a .244 slugging percentage in 86 at-bats.
"Everybody has to have their first playoff experience -- you've got to start somewhere," Jepsen told the Los Angeles Times. "I can't wait. I feel like I will feed off the energy, whether we're home or away."
"I could feel my heart pumping, the adrenaline going," Jepsen said of warming up twice last year in the playoffs. "Coming in with a playoff game on the line -- it doesn't get any better than that."
McGehee receives praise from Braun: Ryan Braun, the 2007 National League Rookie of the Year winner, said Casey McGehee deserves to be considered for the award this year.
"Casey has quietly had a phenomenal year," Braun told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "If you look at the quantity of at-bats , he has way less than most of those guys yet still has the numbers. To me, that makes it more impressive, to put up numbers like that in limited time."
McGehee rarely played during the first six weeks of the season and missed some time due to a sore knee. Nonetheless, entering Tuesday night, he led NL rookies with 57 RBIs, was second with 15 home runs and tied with Chris Coghlan of Florida for first with a .306 batting average. He was also second in the league with a .522 slugging percentage -- trailing Garrett Jones of Pittsburgh -- and fourth with a .367 on-base percentage.
Wilson expanding charity event: In an effort to raise more money for his charities, C.J. Wilson is now selling Wolf Pack t-shirts at his Strike Out bowling tournament to benefit the sports medicine program at Children's Medical Center at Legacy in Plano, Texas. The Wolf Pack is the Rangers relievers' collective nickname.
"We're trying to branch out and make it bigger," Wilson, who has played host to several charity events in recent years, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "There are only so many people that want to play Guitar Hero [one of Wilson's prior charity events]. We want to open it to a wider audience. I'm open to suggestions -- whatever can get as many people there as possible and make as big a difference as possible."
In addition to bowling, there will be dancing. Wilson will also man the DJ booth, and several of Wilson's teammates are set to participate in the event.
Crede not likely to return to action: As he continues to fight ongoing back problems, Joe Crede acknowledges that it's unlikely he'll be able to play anymore this season as the Twins fight for a playoff spot.
"I wanted to come back to see if I could do it, see if I can go out there and help the team the rest of the way," Crede told MLB.com. "It's hard, and it's frustrating to sit on the bench, especially when we have a very realistic shot to get into the playoffs. You want to be out there."
Peavy set to make debut with White Sox: After suffering a series of setbacks that have kept him from making his debut with the Chicago White Sox, Jake Peavy is expected to make his Sox debut on Saturday, getting the start at home against the Kansas City Royals.
"I hope nothing changes between now and then, and I don't expect anything to," Peavy told MLB.com. "I look forward to going out there and competing. I'm certainly not where a normal starter would be or where those other guys are, but I'll go out there and compete, and I look forward to taking the field the first time with my new teammates."
Phillips reaches goal of 20-20 club: When Brandon Phillips hit his 20th home run of the season on Monday night, the Reds' second baseman did something he sets out to do on a yearly basis -- get a minimum of 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases in a season.
"One of my goals is to get 20-20 every year," Phillips told MLB.com. "There aren't many players that do that at any other position, especially second base. You set your goals for yourself, and you have things you can shoot for. I would have done it earlier, if I was healthier. I'm just glad it finally happened and it's over with. I achieved one of my goals."
Ryal knows adapting to roles is important: Rusty Ryal was an everyday player in the Minors but is adjusting to a utility role with Arizona.
"It's accepting different roles," Ryal, who can play all four infield positions and the outfield, told the Arizona Republic. "You plan your approach and know how you're going to prepare yourself coming off the bench and help your team out.
"That's going to be a key to my career in the long run no matter where it's at, whether it's in Triple-A or in the big leagues. It's something you need to have under your belt -- the experience of coming off the bench, trying to do one thing to help your team, whether it's make a couple of defensive plays or get that game-winning hit."
Frieri, Durango get the call from Padres: San Diego recalled two more players from the Minors on Monday, adding Ernesto Frieri and Luis Durango to the roster after the San Antonio Missions were eliminated from the Double-A Texas League playoffs. Frieri was 10-9 with a 3.59 ERA in 27 games -- 26 starts -- for the Missions this season. He had 118 strikeouts in 140 1/3 innings. Durango, an outfielder, hit .281 with a Texas League-leading 44 steals. He drew more walks (80) than strikeouts (70) and had a .390 on-base percentage.
"Durango gives us another option on the bench," Padres manager Bud Black told the San Diego Union-Tribune. "Frieri will be out in the bullpen."
Flores sees season end, faces surgery: Jesus Flores' injury-filled season is over. After missing most of the year with a shoulder contusion that morphed into a stress fracture, the Nationals catcher will miss the rest of this year due to a torn labrum. Flores is expected to require three-to-six months recovery time after surgery.
"He should be ready for the middle of Spring Training, worst-case scenario," Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo told the Washington Post.
Lincecum chalks up 11 K's after missing a turn: After missing a start with a sore back, Tim Lincecum came back in a big way, pitching seven innings of one-run ball with 11 strikeouts in San Francisco's 9-1 win over the Rockies on Monday.
"I had all this energy pent up," Lincecum told the San Francisco Chronicle of pitching for the first time in 11 days. "To keep hearing someone say, 'No, we're going to wait one more day' -- it was hard to hear."
West sets personal best with 9 K's: Sean West set a career high with nine strikeouts in a 2-1 win over the Cardinals on Tuesday night.
"In the bullpen, my first slider was like, 'Wow,'" the Marlins' left-hander told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "It shocked me a little bit. I knew it was going to be an out pitch for me."
Janish preparing for future, present: Paul Janish, who was 3-for-4 with three doubles on Tuesday against Houston, is making a strong case for regular duty in 2010.
"It's on my mind, but at the same time it's not something you can worry about," the Cincinnati shortstop told MLB.com. "Fortunately, I'm in a situation where I'm getting run out there every day. Hopefully, I will finish the season strong."
LaRoche efficient at the plate: The Braves kept their playoff hopes alive with a 6-0 win over the Mets Tuesday night. Adam LaRoche went 4-for-4 with two doubles, two homers, three runs and four RBIs to power the offense and lead Atlanta to its sixth win in its last seven games.
"I think I took five swings today; I fouled off one pitch," LaRoche told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "When you're doing that, it's just about as good as you can be feeling. And I got some pitches to hit. That always helps."
Valverde battling fever, stays home: The Houston Astros are without the services of Jose Valverde for their entire three-game series against Cincinnati. Valverde was kept away from his teammates on Sunday and didn't travel with the team on Monday because of a high fever.
Not wanting any possible illness to be spread, trainer Nate Lucero quickly isolated Valverde from the rest of his teammates.
"He reported to the clubhouse feeling poorly [Sunday], was running a fever over 100 [degrees]," general manager Ed Wade told the Houston Chronicle. "Nate sequestered him and kept him away from the other players."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.