Link-O-Rama: Putz 'appears headed for surgery'

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* According to the New York Daily News,
J.J. Putz “hurt like hell” yesterday while allowing multiple runs for
the third straight appearance and “appears headed for surgery” to
remove bone spurs from his elbow.

From 2005-2008, Putz had a 2.63 ERA and 287/77 K/BB ratio in 256
innings while averaging 95 miles per hour with his fastball. This
season he has a 5.22 ERA and 19/19 K/BB ratio in 29 innings while
averaging 93.5 mph with his fastball.

* Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times wrote an interesting article
about the history of inside-the-park homers. Some of my favorite
tidbits: Jesse Burkett is the all-time leader with 55, Willie Wilson is
the modern-day leader with 13, Cy Young served up 54 to lead all
pitchers, and all but three of Wee Willie Keeler’s 33 career homers
were of the inside-the-park variety.

* If you thought the pitch counts from the NCAA tournament were nutty, check out some of the workloads from my home state’s high schoolers.

* Here’s the latest first-round draft projections from Jonathan Mayo of

* Moneyball isn’t the only Michael Lewis best-seller currently being made into a movie.

* Randy Johnson may have 300 wins now, but even at 6-foot-10 he’s not the tallest pitcher in baseball.

* Fear not, Cubs fans: Milton Bradley will avoid the disabled list and instead spend the next three months being “day-to-day” with a strained calf.

Padres announce Pat Murphy won’t return as manager in 2016

Pat Murphy
AP Photo
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Per Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Padres have announced that interim manager Pat Murphy won’t return as the team’s manager in 2016. Haudricourt adds that Brewres manager Craig Counsell tried to get Murphy on his staff, and says to look for Murphy to join the Brewers for the 2016 season.

Murphy led the Padres to a 42-53 record after Bud Black was fired in June. He had previously managed for two years with Single-A Eugene in 2011-12, and at Triple-A Tucson and El Paso in 2013-14.

Former major leaguer Phil Nevin is a candidate for the Padres’ vacant managing position, according to Scott Miller of Bleacher Report.

Royals clinch home field advantage, best record in the American League

Lorenzo Cain
AP Photo

With a 6-1 win over the Twins in Sunday’s season finale, the Royals clinched the best record in the American League, which nets them home field advantage in the ALDS and ALCS. The Royals stand at 95-67 while the Blue Jays, who lost on Sunday, finish at 93-69.

95-67 is the Royals’ best record since finishing 97-65 in 1980, when they lost the World Series to the Phillies. Their division title is their first since 1985.

In the ALDS, which starts on Thursday, the Royals will host the winner of the AL Wild Card game between the Astros and Yankees. They are looking to avenge last year’s World Series loss, in seven games, to the Giants. The Blue Jays will host the Rangers in the other ALDS series.