Are the Phillies still pursuing Roy Halladay?

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Asked yesterday what the Phillies will be looking to upgrade this offseason general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said: “Third base, bullpen, bench.”
Despite the lack of “rotation” on that list Jim Salisbury of the Philadelphia Inquirer spoke to “more than one baseball official with knowledge of the Phillies’ offseason plan” who said that “the team remains very much in the picture to acquire” Roy Halladay from the Blue Jays.
Philadelphia made a midseason run at Halladay before balking at then-general manager J.P. Ricciardi’s sky-high asking price, instead acquiring Cliff Lee from Cleveland for a handful of non-elite prospects. Committing another package of prospects and a huge chunk of the payroll to a second No. 1 starter seems unlikely, but “one rival front-office man” who spoke to Salisbury seems to think that it’s possible.
Amaro reportedly turned down Ricciardi’s request for J.A. Happ and prospects Kyle Drabek, Domonic Brown, and Anthony Gose. Parting with that quartet in addition to the prospects already shipped to the Indians for Lee would completely wipe out the Phillies’ farm system, but for the most part their offensive core should be intact for the long haul and if they could somehow get Lee and Halladay signed to long-term deals … well, they would be pretty scary for the near future.

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.