Notes: Outfielder Ross lands on DL

Notes: Outfielder Ross lands on DL

CINCINNATI -- A roster move involving a Reds outfielder was executed on Tuesday morning, but it wasn't the one many have been anticipating.

Outfielder Cody Ross was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a bruised left pinky, retroactive to Saturday. Top outfield prospect Chris Denorfia was recalled from Triple-A Louisville and arrived in time for the game against the Cardinals.

Not only was Ken Griffey Jr. not activated from the DL, Reds manager Jerry Narron said the center fielder wouldn't make the upcoming two-day trip to Colorado with the club, either. It's still possible Griffey, who has not played since April 12 because of a strained tendon in his right knee, could meet the team Friday for the start of a three-game series in Arizona.

"He hasn't had a setback," Narron said. "He's just hasn't gotten to the point where he feels like he can play."

Denorfia batted .333 with three home runs and 10 RBIs in 21 games for Louisville. He was on the Reds' Opening Day roster and went 2-for-2 in three games before he was optioned back on April 8.

How long Denorfia will be needed was unclear.

"Whether it'll be until Griffey gets back, I don't know," Narron said. "It could be three days, six days or seven months, I don't know."

Ross, who was acquired in a trade from the Dodgers on April 24, will definitely never forget his first plate appearance as a Red. Pinch-hitting Friday against Houston, he had the misfortune of being hit on the left hand with a Roy Oswalt fastball as he swung and struck out. Although X-rays revealed his finger wasn't broken, he hasn't been able to play since.

"It's one of those things that's taking a while for it to heal," Ross said. "I took some swings yesterday and it felt good. But it's not responding like it should."

Ross will remain in Cincinnati while the club is on the road. When he is 100 percent, the plan is to have him begin a rehabilitation assignment with Louisville.

Slump be gone: A year ago at this time, Felipe Lopez hadn't quite assumed the everyday job at shortstop for the Reds. An 0-for-17 skid like the one he snapped in Monday's 6-1 win might have been more troubling for him last season.

Now an All-Star and firmly embedded in his role, Lopez tried to relax and work himself out of the slump. It finally ended with a lined RBI single in the fifth inning. A two-run single in the sixth with the bases loaded followed.

"I was in a little bit of a slump, but I've got my confidence," Lopez said. "I know I can do this -- not just because of last year. I'm comfortable enough and have confidence in myself to know I can hit. I wasn't stressing out about it. I was getting my work done and trying to get back in the rhythm of things."

The 0-for-17 was the longest slump for any Reds hitter this season.

"Felipe is going to hit," Narron said. "You won't see anybody up there red-hot all the time. He's a very good hitter from both sides of the plate."

Womack released: During Tuesday's game, the Reds announced that veteran second baseman Tony Womack was given his unconditional release. Womack was designated for assignment on April 24 to make room on the roster for Ross.

Caught up in a crowded second-base situation, Womack batted .222 with three RBIs in nine games. Cincinnati is responsible for paying Womack $1.1 million this season to not play. The remaining $900,000 of his $2 million salary in the final season of a two-year contract was picked up by the Yankees, who traded the 36-year-old to the Reds in December. He is now a free agent able to sign with any other club.

Milton update: Rehabilitating from April 24 arthroscopic surgery that repaired damaged cartilage in his left knee, pitcher Eric Milton threw 45 pitches off of a mound Tuesday morning. Milton was expected to miss three-to-four weeks following the operation.

TV games added: In response to the Reds' recent success, Fox Sports Net Ohio announced Tuesday that it added 14 more games to its 2006 television schedule. The first of these additional games will be Saturday's 9:40 p.m. ET matchup at Arizona.

Coming up: Left-hander Brandon Claussen will get the call Wednesday in the opener of a two-game series against the Rockies at Coors Field. Left-hander Jeff Francis is scheduled for Colorado in the 8:35 p.m. ET contest.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.