Sabathia makes season debut Sunday

Cleveland Indians: The club activated left-hander C.C. Sabathia from the disabled list after their 6-4 loss to the Twins on Saturday.

Right-hander Matt Miller was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo to make room for Sabathia, who was sidelined with a strained right side muscle.

Sabathia is scheduled to make his season debut Sunday when Cleveland tries to avert a three-game sweep by Minnesota.

Sabathia did not make an official spring start after being injured March 6 while warming up for a game against Detroit.

He made two rehab starts at Double-A Akron, going 0-1 with a 1.00 ERA, allowing four hits and three runs -- one earned -- over nine innings with two walks and nine strikeouts.

"C.C. is eager to start," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "And we're happy to have him back."

Baltimore Orioles: Bullpen coach Elrod Hendricks is working to shake the effects of a mild stroke, and the chances for a complete recovery are favorable -- thanks to some quick action by team trainer Richie Bancells.

The Orioles were preparing to leave Florida after a three-game series against Tampa Bay late Thursday night when Hendricks complained about dizziness and numbness on the left side of his face.

Bancells insisted that Hendricks seek medical treatment and accompanied him to a nearby hospital, where doctors promptly began treating the 64-year-old Hendricks for a stroke.

"Richie's rapid response to the situation greatly diminished the severity of the stroke. It's as simple as that," Orioles vice president Mike Flanagan said Saturday.

Hendricks has started working with a speech therapist and is expected to return to Baltimore early next week.

Bancells was getting ready to leave the visiting clubhouse at Tropicana Field when he realized that Hendricks was in need of medical assistance. Had Hendricks gotten on the plane, it's likely the effects of the stroke would have been much worse.

Hendricks is in his 37th season in an Orioles uniform as a player and coach. He has missed only a handful of games since taking the job as bullpen coach 28 years ago.

Washington Nationals: There was a heap of trouble with the new pitching mounds at RFK Stadium.

Manager Frank Robinson and starter Livan Hernandez were among those who said the mound on the field and those in the bullpens weren't built with enough clay, leaving them too soft. That softness led to holes developing in front of the pitching rubber and in the spot where a pitcher's foot lands as he delivers the ball.

"It was terrible. It's one of the worst mounds I've ever pitched on," Javier Vazquez, the Diamondbacks' starter against Hernandez in Washington's home opener, said Saturday. "I know Livo had the same problem."

Before the top of the third inning in Washington's 5-3 win Thursday, four members of the grounds crew went out to the mound with a rake, a shovel and a bag of dirt in an effort to fill in the problem spots.

"It's not good when you're throwing. You can hurt your ankle. You don't feel comfortable," Hernandez said. "But it's the first time here. Maybe next time I pitch it'll be ready."

Other than the mounds -- which Robinson called "amateur" and said need "more than fine-tuning" -- the manager and his players said they haven't had problems at RFK. The stadium hasn't been used regularly for major-league baseball since 1971 and is being shared with D.C. United of Major League Soccer.

"Any time you get on a field that baseball has not been played on for quite some time, and soccer has been played here, you're going to have some issues," Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said. "But both teams have to play on it -- same playing field for everybody that's out there."

San Diego Padres: Shortstop Khalil Greene broke his right ring finger in the Padres' game against the Dodgers.

Greene broke the finger in the first inning trying to backhand a poor throw from catcher Ramon Hernandez. With the Dodgers' Cesar Izturis attempting to steal second, Hernandez threw the ball into center field and Izturis continued to third.

Geoff Blum replaced Greene at shortstop in the second inning.

Greene's impressive rookie season ended prematurely after he broke his right index finger trying to field a hard-hit grounder by Antonio Perez on Sept. 13 at Dodger Stadium. He did not play shortstop the rest of the season, although he was used as a pinch-runner.

Kansas City Royals: The club placed closer Jeremy Affeldt on the 15-day disabled list with a left groin strain.

Affeldt was pulled from the game in the ninth inning Friday night with the groin problem and was examined, including an MRI, Saturday. The left-hander also had a setback in spring training because of the sore groin.

Affeldt missed 48 games last season with a torn right oblique muscle. He was placed on the disabled list in 2002-03 with finger blisters, which he had surgically corrected before the 2004 season.

Manager Tony Pena said he would use Mike MacDougal as the closer in Affeldt's absence. MacDougal, who was an All-Star Game selection in 2003 when he logged 27 saves as a rookie, picked up his first save Friday in the 6-5 victory over the Tigers since April 28, 2004, which was his lone save last season.

Arizona Diamondbacks: The team placed outfielder Jose Cruz Jr. on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain and recalled Scott Hairston from Triple-A Tucson.

Cruz's stint on the DL is retroactive to last Sunday. He is 5-for-17 (.294) this season and had missed the Diamondbacks' last five games.

"We thought originally it could just be a day," Arizona manager Bob Melvin said before the Diamondback's game against the Nationals. "If we had envisioned it being as long as it's been, then we might have done something before."

Hairston, an outfielder, was batting .308 with two homers and six RBI at Tucson. His father and grandfather played major-league baseball, and his brother Jerry plays for the Cubs.