AL Central notes



RHP Zach McAllister, placed on the 15-day disabled list with a low back strain, threw a bullpen session of more than 50 pitches last week. He was pleased that he was able to keep his fastball down, a problem in his last three starts, according to the Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal. … Manager Terry Francona declined comment on the Cubs hiring Manny Ramirez as a minor league player-coach. “I’ve got my hands full being the manager of this team,” said Francona, who was in Boston with Ramirez and Cubs executive Theo Epstein. “I did exchange a couple of texts with Theo yesterday in fun.”


LHP Bruce Chen (bulging disc), who is on the DL, threw a 25-pitch simulated game last week. Chen soon could be going on a minor league rehab assignment. … An MRI on RHP Yordano Ventura revealed his sore right elbow showed no ligament damage. Ventura, whose 100 mph fastballs have made him a rising star, was diagnosed with a mild valgus extension overload, a condition in which the repetitive stress on the elbow can cause pain in the joint.


LHP Drew Smyly was the first Tigers pitcher to allow four homers in a game since Max Scherzer did it in a 10-7 win over the Yankees on April 3, 2011. Smyly allowed a career-worst four home runs to the Athletics last week. “It was like, is this really happening?” Smyly said. “I felt good and I felt like I was making good pitches. Then I’d just leave one up, home run. Leave the next one up, home run. Bury the next one, home run.” … The family of former Tigers OF Bill Bruton received the Detroit Tigers’ African-American Legacy Award on his behalf. He was honored posthumously.


LF Aaron Hicks told manager Ron Gardenhire he had no confidence swinging from the left side. “He came to me … and said he wants to hit right-handed. So, obviously, when a guy has no confidence left-handed, you gotta do what you gotta do,” Gardenhire said. … The Twins have been struggling lately. Gardenhire: “Baseball does that. You go in cycles, hit some bloops, get some to fall in. Starting hitting them hard at people and you go into a little bit of a funk.”

White Sox

1B Jose Abreu (left ankle) took 25 grounders and played soft toss last week. He also hit 30 balls off a tee. The slugger is expected to be activated from the 15-day DL when he is eligible on Monday. … The team traded minor league C Hector Gimenez to Toronto for cash. … RHP Frank Francisco, who was designated for assignment when the White Sox activated Chris Sale , declined his minor league assignment and became a free agent.

Compiled by Rick Crotts from wire reports.