Royals demote Alex Gordon to the minor leagues

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alex gordon headshot royals.jpgUnsurprisingly, the Royals made the decision Sunday to option former starting third baseman Alex Gordon to Triple-A Omaha.

Gordon spent the first two weeks of the 2010 season on the disabled list and hit just .194 with a .323 slugging percentage in 31 at-bats once he regained his health.  All the while, Alberto Callaspo has jumped out to a hot start and has rightfully earned the Royals’ starting third base gig.  Perhaps Gordon, 26, will find his stroke down in Triple-A and return to the big leagues as a useful utility player.  Or maybe not.  Big-time busts are far from a rarity in the baseball world.

Gordon, as some may remember, was the second overall pick in baseball’s first-year player draft back in 2005.  Justin Upton was selected at No. 1 by the Diamondbacks.

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.