Last season, Gabe Kapler was a Minor League manager in the Red Sox organization. Now he's back on a big league roster as an outfielder for the Brewers, and he's getting off to an impressive start.

Through his first seven games, Kapler is 7-for-16 (.438 batting average) with two home runs and six RBIs. In last weekend's series against San Francisco, Kapler had three hits on Friday, hit a pinch home run on Saturday and went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs on Sunday.

"It's pretty amazing what he's doing right now," teammate Tony Gwynn Jr. told The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "He came back after leaving the game and kind of seems refreshed."

Chris Young agrees on long-term deal with D-backs: Chris Young has agreed to a five-year contract extension with the Diamondbacks. The deal also includes a club option for 2014.

"It doesn't change anything," Young told The East Valley Tribune. "I'm still going to go out there, and everything's going to be the same no matter if I have a contract or [am] just a guy trying to stay on the team."

Young last year became the first rookie in NL history to reach 30 home runs and 25 steals by smashing 32 dingers and swiping 27 bases.

Ryan itching to get back to Blue Jays: Closer B.J. Ryan pitched one inning in his second rehabilitation outing for Class A Dunedin. After appearing in his first game Saturday, Ryan struck out one batter and threw 12 pitches on Monday.

"You see that finish line and want to get back with the club," Ryan told The Toronto Star, "but you keep putting your work in until they let you know something."

Abreu falls hit short of cycle: Bobby Abreu is putting aside any fears that he may have a down season. On Monday night against Tampa Bay, he collected three hits, falling a double short of hitting for the cycle. Abreu had a chance to collect the double in the seventh inning but instead drew a walk. Through the first seven games of the season, he is hitting .400 with one home run and four RBIs.

"Bobby has been looking good all year since the beginning of Spring Training," manager Joe Girardi told Newsday. "He's a great player. He has the ability to steal 40 bases and hit 30 home runs."

Elbow injury puts Barrett on DL: Michael Barrett was placed on the disabled list after suffering a strained throwing elbow. The Padres recalled catcher Colt Morton from Double-A San Antonio to take Barrett's spot on the roster.

"He was in a great deal of pain," Padres general manager Kevin Towers told The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Holliday's blast puts struggles to an end: Throughout Monday night's game against Atlanta and pitcher Tom Glavine, Matt Holliday struggled against the left-hander as he kept pulling off Glavine's famous changeup.

But the right-handed slugger made up for the pop up two innings later when he drove a fastball from Blaine Boyer over the fence in center field for a solo home run to give the Rockies a 2-1 win and snap the team's five-game losing streak.

"It's big," Holliday told The Rocky Mountain News of the win and the home run. "We haven't been swinging the bats at all. The pitchers have done a good job of keeping us in games, but we haven't hit squat. I just told myself to go up there and get a good pitch to drive. I just stopped thinking about mechanics and trying to do different things. I was focused on getting a pitch to drive and driving it."

Granderson making progress: With his team off to an 0-7 start, Curtis Granderson is definitely missed by the Tigers. Granderson, who broke a bone in his right hand 2 1/2 weeks ago, took 10 batting practice swings on Tuesday and also played catch from about 90 feet.

While he's not sure when he'll be back, he does hope to take more cuts on Wednesday.

"The frustrating thing I don't know when," Granderson told The Detroit Free Press. "But I'm happy with today, and I'm excited about tomorrow."

Span gets first Major League hit: Rookie Denard Span of the Twins picked up his first Major League hit earlier this week and said he was glad to get it out of the way so early in the season -- in only his fourth at-bat.

"You don't want something like that to linger, you know?" Span asked The St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Crede focused on keeping bat hot: Joe Crede is, in a word, hot. In his last two games, the White Sox third baseman has six hits in his last nine at-bats, with seven RBIs and a grand slam on Monday that helped the White Sox defeat Minnesota, 7-4.

"As many games as you play in your career, and you go through these situations over and over, your focus is that much greater than it seems earlier in the game, especially for me," Crede told The Chicago Tribune. "Late in the game your focus is up and you're really bearing down out there, just trying to hit something hard, as was I in that situation."

Burres has better fate vs. Rangers this time: To celebrate his 27th birthday, Brian Burres allowed just one run in six innings on Tuesday, helping the Orioles knock off the Rangers, 8-1. That was a much better experience for Burres than when he faced Texas last August in the Rangers' 30-3 victory. On that night, Burres gave up eight runs in two-thirds of an inning.

"Yeah, [this] makes me feel a little better about facing [the Rangers]," Burres told The Baltimore Sun.

Gathright stays perfect on the basepaths: In Kansas City, Joey Gathright is making the stolen base en vogue again. On Tuesday against the Yankees, Gathright started the game with a hit and a stolen base, eventually coming in to score in the Royals' 5-2 win over New York. He would eventually steal three bases in the game, giving him five steals in five attempts on the year.

"Joey got us going right away by getting on base and running and getting himself to third with one out, and from there, it should be easy to score him," teammate Mark Teahen told MLB.com.

Reyes proves highly effective for Cardinals: Anthony Reyes came to the rescue Tuesday night, working three innings of scoreless and nearly perfect relief in the Cardinals' 5-3 victory over the Houston Astros.

"We don't have a chance without Anthony," manager Tony La Russa told MLB.com. "That was very high quality. He was really pumping it, making pitches. Rewarded with a "W" -- that's sweet."

James ready to make season debut: After the 2007 season, Chuck James was diagnosed with a partial rotator cuff tear in his left shoulder. He did not undergo surgery, opting instead for rest.

He pitched just two innings during Spring Training and did not go north with the club for Opening Day. But he's preparing for his first start of the year on Wednesday when Atlanta takes on the Rockies in Colorado. James believes his shoulder is ready for action.

"Without a doubt," James told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I mean, I've just pitched intrasquad on the back fields and stuff like that. I threw a few games, but it feels good."

Bennett finally gets a start: There are few jobs in the Majors so limiting as being the backup catcher to Dodgers All-Star Russell Martin. Gary Bennett fills that role for the Dodgers this year and Tuesday he became the last player on the roster to appear in a game this season when he got a rare start versus the Diamondbacks.

"You just try to do what you can on the side," to stay ready Bennett told The Los Angeles Times.

Hunter gets first curtain call with Angels: Monday night, Torii Hunter reminded fans why they should never leave before the game is over. The Angels trailed by two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning when Hunter delivered a grand slam off Cleveland closer Joe Borowski to lift the Halos to a 6-4 win over the Indians. The fans who remained gave Hunter a standing ovation and the center fielder responded with his first curtain call for his new team.

"All those fans who left, they're like, 'Man, I missed it!'" Hunter told The Los Angeles Times. "That was awesome. That celebration was nice. That's how chemistry is started. These are my new teammates -- when I came in, they doused me with beer."

Sneaky Lopez helps Seattle steal a win: A heads-up play by Jose Lopez helped the Mariners scratch out the go-ahead run in the team's 6-5 win over the Rays on Tuesday night, which ended Seattle's four-game losing streak. With Lopez on first base, Adrian Beltre hit a popup to catcher Shawn Riggans. With the infielders out of position due to the pop-up, Lopez tagged up and went to second base. He came around to score the winning run on a single by Richie Sexson.

"Everybody had their backs to me," Lopez told The Seattle Times. "Nobody saw me."

-- Red Line Editorial