J.P. Ricciardi wants to get fired

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He’s never been good at P.R., and there’s a sense that he’s already toast anyway, but the Blue Jays’ GM now seems to be begging for unemployment:

“Let me make this clear: It doesn’t matter if J.P. Ricciardi is the GM,
or Joe Blow is the GM. Two years from now, five years from now, seven
years from now, the reality that we face in Toronto is the division is
not going to change,” Ricciardi said in an interview this week. “The
Red Sox and Yankees are not going away. If the Yankees want to, they
can take their payroll to $300 million . . .I get this feeling that people are dying for me to lose my job, they
think my world is going to come crashing down. I’m not built like that.”

All of that may be true. But when you’re the GM of a baseball team, it’s not good business to (a) provide quotes which basically give the entire fan base permission to stop hoping and caring; and (b) tell your bosses that being fired wouldn’t bother you a bit.

Ricciardi should have been let go a couple of years ago. I have little doubt that he’ll be let go a couple of weeks from now.

Report: Steven Matz has been pitching through pain, may need elbow surgery

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Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that Mets starter Steven Matz has been pitching through pain for most of the season. He may need surgery to fix a nerve issue in his elbow. Matz was sidelined in spring training with an elbow injury and made his regular season debut on June 10.

Matz, 26, has struggled over 13 starts, posting a 6.08 ERA with a 48/19 K/BB ratio in 66 2/3 innings. Many were scrambling for explanations for his pitching woes and now they have it.

According to Carig, the Mets let Matz skip his bullpen sessions to help him pitch through the pain. Given the Mets’ shoddy history of dealing with injuries, that’s not a good look for the club.

Carig noted on Twitter that Jacob deGrom offers some optimism for Matz’s case. deGrom underwent right elbow surgery to repair ulnar nerve damage last September and bounced back to have a great season this year.

Clayton Kershaw’s simulated game went so well he threw an extra inning

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Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw was scheduled to throw three innings in a simulated game on Monday. That simulated game went so well, he threw an extra inning, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports. Kershaw will make a minor league rehab start next and could be activated towards the end of next week.

Kershaw, 29, has been on the disabled list since July 24 with a lower back strain. That put the pause button on another outstanding season. He’s carrying a 15-2 record with a 2.04 ERA and a 168/24 K/BB ratio in 141 1/3 innings.

The 87-35 Dodgers have run away with the NL West, needing some combination of 20 wins and 20 Rockies losses (19 for the third-place Diamondbacks) to officially clinch the division. While the Dodgers are all but mathematically assured of reaching postseason baseball, the club would still like to get Kershaw as ready as possible over the next month-plus.