Call it the Jerod Morris hex or merely a coincidence, but Raul Ibanez was put on the disabled list Thursday for the first time since 2004. Ibanez has been in a funk since taking Morris to task last week over a blog entry, going 5-for-27 (.185) with 11 strikeouts while receiving more media attention than ever before. After seeing him struggle to run out grounders, the Phillies shut him down for a couple weeks.
John Mayberry Jr. is back for his second stint in the majors after being called up from Triple-A to replace Ibanez and went 2-for-5 with a homer while throwing out a runner at the plate from right field Thursday. He stands 6-foot-6 and has lots of power with 24 homers and 75 total extra-base hits in 166 games at Triple-A, but Mayberry also hit just .261 with a lowly .323 OBP and 141/51 K/BB ratio there.
While the Phillies give the 25-year-old Mayberry a shot at regular playing time for the rest of the month, here are some other notes from around baseball …
* Jim Leyland avoided calling it a benching, but did say Thursday that he's going to get Magglio Ordonez "away from it … indefinitely" amid a 38-game homerless streak. Ordonez is batting just .273/.347/.343 with two homers and 22 RBIs in 57 games overall after hitting .323/.383/.510 in four previous seasons in Detroit, but the problem is that fill-in Ryan Raburn's career .251/.310/.411 line is just as bad.
* Frank Francisco tossed a perfect inning in a rehab appearance Thursday night at Double-A, setting him up to return from the disabled list Friday. Francisco has been out for over two weeks with shoulder tendinitis, so the Rangers have talked about slowly easing him back into the closer role. That means C.J. Wilson could get another save chance or two before dropping back down into a setup role.
* Brandon Webb was scheduled to take the next step on his road back from right shoulder soreness with a mound session Friday, but instead has been shut down indefinitely after suffering a setback. He felt pain after throwing from flat ground earlier this week and seems highly unlikely to make it back by the All-Star break as previously hoped.
* Chien-Ming Wang was shaky while lasting five innings in his Wednesday outing and is now 0-5 with a 12.65 ERA, but manager Joe Girardi announced Thursday that he'll remain in the Yankees' rotation. Girardi suggested that Wang "threw the ball pretty well" while allowing three runs Wednesday, so Phil Hughes will remain in the bullpen where he's given up two runs while striking out 10 in 7.2 innings.
AL Quick Hits: Gavin Floyd turned in another strong start Thursday, allowing one run in seven innings before the bullpen coughed up his win … After watching him go 1-4 with a 7.49 ERA in seven starts the Tigers returned Dontrelle Willis to the disabled list Thursday with the same "anxiety disorder" … Franklin Gutierrez had a pair of homers Thursday after coming into the game with four long balls in 189 at-bats … Brandon Morrow made his second start Thursday, giving up two runs with six strikeouts and just one walk in four innings … Jeremy Accardo picked up a save Thursday in his first appearance since last May, but don't expect him to be the Blue Jays' primary closer … Vince Mazzaro hurled his fourth Quality Start in as many tries Thursday … Brett Gardner left Thursday's game with a bloody face after running into the outfield wall chasing a fly ball … Derek Jeter's ankle is healthy enough for him to ground out as a pinch-hitter Thursday.
NL Quick Hits: Brad Lidge (knee) threw a bullpen session Thursday and is set to begin a rehab assignment at Double-A … Craig Stammen and four relievers shut out the Yankees on Thursday as the Nationals won a series in New York … Joel Pineiro fell to 1-8 in his last nine starts despite allowing one earned run in seven innings Thursday and was helped off the field after cramping up … Khalil Greene returned from the disabled list Thursday and whiffed off the bench … Jonathan Broxton (toe) was unavailable again Thursday after getting a cortisone shot, so Ramon Troncoso picked up a save … Tommy Hanson tossed six shutout innings Thursday for his second victory … Livan Hernandez gave up two runs in seven innings Thursday, but missed a win when Francisco Rodriguez blew his second save … Kevin Youkilis' solo homer Thursday was the only hit allowed by Ricky Nolasco in a rain-shortened complete-game win.