Less than four weeks after undergoing reconstructive elbow surgery, Stephen Strasburg made his first public comments. Despite having his cast off just two weeks, and sporting a long scar, Strasburg was in good spirits.

"I'm chalking this year up as a great success," Strasburg told the Washington Post. "It's unfortunate for this to happen. But ... I stirred up the baseball world well enough to have more people become Nats fans. And I know they're going to be there when I come back in a year."

"I'm going to be patient," Strasburg said, "and do what the trainers and doctors tell me to do, and take it by the book. ... What they're telling me is, the more boring it is, the better. The first few months, it's about letting the new ligament heal and naturally recover."

Frank Francisco plans to be in the playoff mix: On the disabled list since Aug. 28 with a muscle strain, Frank Francisco threw a bullpen session earlier this week and believes he has a chance to be ready for the Rangers' Division Series.

"This is my dream," he told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "This is everything I've been waiting for. I think it's every ballplayer or pitcher's dream to be a part of it. I definitely want to be a part of it. I don't want to miss it."

Francisco was prepared for additional work this week to determine if he's ready to be a part of the postseason roster.

"I'm going to go one or two bullpens, maybe three," Francisco said. "I need for sure [to pitch in a game]. I don't think they're going to throw me in if I haven't seen a hitter for one month."

Buehrle maintains successful streak: For the 10th consecutive season, Mark Buehrle has reached double-digit victories, at least 30 starts and a minimum of 200 innings pitched, the longest such streak in Major League Baseball.

"You know what you are going to get from him, and as a starting pitcher, that's all you can ask for," A.J. Pierzynski told MLB.com. "He's never missed a start that I can recall. He gets 200 innings pitched, 10-plus wins. He's consistent. That's why he's at the front of the staff and will be there again next year."

Sanchez brings extra option to infield: Angel Sanchez has given the Astros an extra option in the infield. Sanchez has made 21 starts at shortstop and five at second base.

"I think I'm doing a pretty good job being consistent and trying to make all the plays and get on base," Sanchez told the Houston Chronicle. "Always, you want to do more, but I think I'm doing a pretty good job."

Sanchez, who has played professional baseball for more than nine years, mostly in the Minors, is hitting .276 and plans to play winter ball in his native Puerto Rico this offseason.

Beltran looking forward to healthy season: Carlos Beltran, who missed large chunk of the season while recovering from offseason knee surgery, finished the team's final road trip of the season with three home runs, including two on Sunday at Philadelphia, and is 24-for-65 (.369) in his last 17 games.

"If I'm healthy, I'm going to be able to have a good season (in 2011)," Beltran told the New York Post.

New baby brings changes for Chris Perez : After Chris Perez and his wife, Melanie, welcomed a son, Maxwell Alexander, into the world, he acknowledged that his life had changed forever.

"You're tired, excited, happy, worried -- everything," Perez told MLB.com. "It's life-changing, for sure. It puts a lot of stuff in perspective. I definitely have a different respect for my wife."

Span secures Dyson's first home-run ball: Denard Span may not know Jarrod Dyson, but he had a feeling that the home run hit by the Royals' rookie on Monday night might have been something special.

"I never met Dyson, but I looked up at the numbers and saw that he didn't have a homer," Span told MLB.com. "I assumed it was his first. I signaled to the fan to give me the ball back and explained to the fan what the significance was. The fan didn't object. Once I got the ball, I threw it into the [Royals] bullpen."

Jonathan Sanchez chalks up 200th strikeout: Jonathan Sanchez reached the 200-strikeout plateau on Tuesday against the Diamondbacks. Sanchez became the first Giants lefty to reach 200 strikeouts since Ray Sadecki turned the trick in 1968.

"I don't know my stats," Sanchez told the San Jose Mercury News. "This is like a playoff game. I knew what was going on. ... I just had to find a way to get on top of the ball and throw my breaking pitches down."

Sanchez said he did not know it was his 200th strikeout until pitching coach Dave Righetti presented him with the baseball.

Shields likely headed for retirement: Scot Shields is contemplating retirement due to difficulty bouncing back from 2009 knee surgery.

"I would say probably," Shields told the Los Angeles Times, when asked whether he would retire. "There's a business side of it and a personal side of it. From a business side, just look at the bullpen here.

"From a personal side, my family comes first, and I've missed too much of my life with them, so it might be time to go home. I had a great time here. I wish the organization the best of luck in the future."

Pestano claims first save in Majors: After earning his first Major League save in Sunday's 5-3 victory over the Royals, Indians reliever Vinnie Pestano said a lot of work and having good people around him are among the reasons he's gotten this far.

"It's been a long road and really tough at times, but it's all part of the process," Pestano told MLB.com. "It's not going to be easy. If it was easy, everybody would be here. I've got a good support group that I've leaned on."

Scutaro not letting injury keep him down: Despite the fact that Boston's playoff hopes have been faint for a while before being mathematically eliminated earlier this week, Marco Scutaro has overcome rotator cuff problems and continues to play.

"I've been taking the anti-inflammatory pills pretty much every day," Scutaro told the Boston Globe. "It feels like M&Ms."

He has trouble throwing and swinging, but he still refuses to leave the lineup.

"I feel like if I come into the park and don't play, it's just not me," Scutaro said. "I just came here to win and play. I already spent a lot of years sitting on the bench."

Pedro Alvarez honored with award: After batting .417 with two home runs and 13 RBIs, Pedro Alvarez was named the National League's Player of the Week.

"It's a great honor," Alvarez told MLB.com. "Some of the guys that are hot right now in the league are doing unbelievable. To be privileged enough to get an award like this means a lot to me, and hopefully there are a lot more coming my way. It's definitely very honoring because of all the hard work I've put in and will continue to put in."

-- Red Line Editorial