Giants prospect Villalona loses U.S. visa

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villalona.jpgThe Giants confirmed Friday that top prospect Angel Villalona has lost his U.S. visa after being charged with killing a man in the Dominican Republic.
The 19-year-old Villalona was recently released from jail after reportedly agreeing to pay the family of the man he allegedly killed a total of $140,000.
Villalona was given a $2.1 million signing bonus to sign with the Giants at age 16. The team was looking him at him as its first baseman of the future, even though he was a disappointment while hitting .267/.306/.397 as an 18-year-old in high-A ball last season.
Now that he’s without a visa, it’s doubtful that he’ll be able to begin 2010 playing in the minor leagues. Even if he’s found innocent of the murder charges still pending against him, he may have trouble ever again obtaining a work visa for the U.S.

Red Sox ask Hanley Ramirez to report 15-20 pounds lighter next spring

Hanley Ramirez
The Associated Press
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Hanley Ramirez was a complete failure in left field this season in Boston and he batted just .249/.291/.426 while appearing in only 105 games. Ben Cherington, the man that signed him to a four-year, $88 million free agent contract, is no longer with the Red Sox. It’s time for some tough love …

Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo, who just inked a two-year extension to return as John Farrell’s bench coach, told Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald on Sunday that Hanley has been asked to drop 15-20 pounds over the offseason. There have been similar conversations with Boston’s other free agent failure, Pablo Sandoval.

Ramirez is expected to start at first base for the Red Sox in 2016.

Video: Clayton Kershaw notches his 300th strikeout

Clayton Kershaw
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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Clayton Kershaw entered Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Padres needing six strikeouts to become the first pitcher in 13 years to whiff 300 batters in a single season.

He did it within the first nine batters of the game, whiffing Yangervis Solarte, Clint Barmes, Austin Hedges, and Travis Jankowski once each and Melvin Upton Jr. on two different occasions.

Here was the milestone matchup against Upton Jr. with two outs in the top of the third …

The last pitchers to reach 300 strikeouts in a season were Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. They did so as teammates on the 2002 Diamondbacks.

Kershaw is lined up to face the Mets in Game 1 of the NLDS.