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Whispers

July 05, 2009|Phil Rogers

Everybody loves Mark DeRosa, but he must be one frustrated guy. His teams entered the weekend having gone 34-53 since the last week of the 2008 season. That's 1-6 by the Cubs (including the playoffs), 31-44 by the Indians and 2-3 by the Cardinals, who lost three straight before winning the next two when a potentially limiting left-wrist injury sidelined DeRosa. He needed an injection for the wrist. . . . As many as eight teams would be in danger of having no All-Stars if representation wasn't required. That includes the underachieving Chicago Cubs, who had eight All-Stars a year ago . . . The Florida Marlins' rise has a lot to do with Hanley Ramirez's clutch hitting. He'd driven in runs in 10 consecutive games (24 RBIs total) before the streak, the longest ever for an NL shortstop, ended Friday. He was hitting a major league-high .472 with men in scoring position. The Marlins are legitimate threats to the downward-trending Phillies and Mets. . . . Detroit Manager Jim Leyland admits he has been "kind of disappointed" with the Tigers' run production. He thinks they can win more games in the second half than their first-half total, which leads the AL Central. . . . Atlanta Manager Bobby Cox is at wit's end with shortstop Yunel Escobar, whose effort doesn't always match his ability. It wouldn't be shocking if the Braves shuffled shortstops before the All-Star break, perhaps adding a veteran such as the Astros' Miguel Tejada, Oakland's Orlando Cabrera or the Orioles' Cesar Izturis, who is a couple of weeks away from getting back on the field after appendicitis. . . . Phil Hughes is becoming a valuable part of the Yankees' bullpen. However, he could be pressed back into starting duty if Chien-Ming Wang, who injured his shoulder Saturday, can't take his next turn in the rotation. . . . The Padres' Jake Peavy hopes to pitch again this season but will be out until at least mid-August because of his ankle injury. . . . Adrian Beltre's shoulder surgery could cause a shuffling of the Mariners' infield. Jose Lopez has been taking grounders at third, prompting speculation that Yuniesky Betancourt could move from short to second, opening short for Ronny Cedeno.

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progers@tribune.com

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