A long holiday weekend of baseball is upon us. Here is a recap of Friday's news from around the league as we head into the Memorial Day weekend.
RUMORS & TRANSACTIONS
Cardinals: Released OF Joey Butler so he could sign with the Orix Buffaloes in Japan, the team announced.
Red Sox: SS Stephen Drew cleared optional waivers and will begin playing minor league games as he prepares to rejoin the team. Optional waivers are revocable, so even if another team claimed Drew, the Red Sox would have pulled him back. (Boston Globe)
Astros: OF George Springer (hip) was not in Friday's lineup but is expected to return sometime this weekend. (Houston Chronicle)
Brewers: OF Ryan Braun (oblique) hopes to return to the lineup on Saturday (Journal Sentinel) ... manager Ron Roenicke confirmed RHP Yovani Gallardo (ankle) will miss Sunday's start. RHP Jimmy Nelson will pitch that day instead. (Journal Sentinel)
Nationals: 1B Adam LaRoche (quad) is expected to be activated off the 15-day DL on Monday (Washington Post) ... LHP Gio Gonzalez (shoulder) had his throwing session pushed back from Friday to Saturday because he is "still a little stiff." (Washington Post)
Orioles: 3B Manny Machado (groin) hopes to return to the lineup on Saturday (MASN Sports) ... manager Buck Showalter confirmed RHP Chris Tillman remains on track to start Monday despite some minor groin soreness. (MASN Sports)
Rays: RHP Jeremy Hellickson (elbow) said "everything felt good" while throwing live batting practice ... 2B Ben Zobrist (thumb) is on track to be activated off the 15-day DL on May 30th, the first day he's eligible. (Tampa Bay Times)
Yankees: RHP Michael Pineda (back/shoulder) will throw live batting practice on Saturday (New York Post)... X-rays came back negative after 2B Brian Roberts fouled a pitch off his right knee. (MLB.com)
No. 99: A pitcher wearing No. 99 faced a hitter wearing No. 99 for the first time in MLB history.