Mike Cameron close to rejoining Red Sox


Mike Cameron has played three games at Triple-A while rehabbing his strained abdominal muscle, going 2-for-8 with a double and three walks.
Terry Francona initially indicated the Red Sox planned to have Cameron spend 4-5 games in the minors before coming off the disabled list, so barring a setback over the weekend he’s very close to returning. Cameron has said he’s eying the series against the Yankees for his return and that begins Monday night in New York.
Darnell McDonald and John Van Every have split time in center field with Cameron (and Jacoby Ellsbury) out, but despite a very strong first impression from McDonald the pair of minor-league veterans have combined to go just 19-for-83 (.229) with 25 strikeouts.
Cameron is on the verge of returning, but Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe reported yesterday that Ellsbury still has “no timetable” for a rehab assignment of his own.

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.