Next month, when the D-backs begin reporting for instructional league, expect chief baseball officer Tony La Russa to begin to assert his influence on how the organization plays the game.

La Russa, who was hired to the newly created position in May, has spent his first three months on the job observing and evaluating. Starting with the instructional league next month, La Russa said he will begin to have more of an impact.

“For my purposes, it’s important to get a head start on the instruction part,” La Russa said. “Laying the framework. When you get to 2015, you’re working from a base of ideas. It’s not going to be all that dramatic.”

La Russa is in charge of the entire baseball operations department, and managing general partner Ken Kendrick and CEO Derrick Hall made it clear when La Russa was hired that he would be the one making the ultimate call on whether to retain general manager Kevin Towers and manager Kirk Gibson.


Chances are slim that Josh Beckett pitches again this season, but neither he nor the Dodgers are ready to say so.

Beckett has a torn labrum and cysts in his left hip and needs the kind of season-ending surgery Colorado’s Troy Tulowitzki had last week. If that isn’t bad enough, Beckett also tore an adductor muscle while trying to pitch through the injury. By itself, that’s a month-long recovery.

“I have not heard that he’s shut down the whole year,” manager Don Mattingly said. Mattingly also said if Beckett returns, it would be to start and not relieve.


Outfielder Michael Morse finished the Giants’ recent homestand 9-for-14 with a home run, triple, two doubles and four RBIs.

“I’m getting hits,” Morse quipped when asked what’s been different. “I’m trying to just get my pitch to hit and put it in play.” … Sergio Romo earned his first save since losing the Giants’ closer’s role in a 6-5 victory over the Phillies on Aug. 16.


The Padres might soon have brothers in their starting rotation. Joe Ross, younger brother of Tyson Ross, was promoted last month to the Texas League. The 21-year-old right hander posted a 3.60 ERA and an astronomical 19 strikeouts-to-walks ratio in 20 innings before landing on the seven-day disabled list with shoulder fatigue after racking up more than 120 innings in four months. Ross allowed just one home run through 61 1/3 innings with Single-A Lake Elsinore.


Corey Dickerson became the fourth Rockies player this season to be named the NL Player of the Week. Over seven games, the left fielder hit .393 (11-for-28) with four doubles, three homers, 11 RBIs and six runs scored. He led the league in doubles and homers.

Compiled by Rachel Lister from wire reports.