Rollins set to begin rehab assignment Monday

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jimmy rollins headshot phillies.jpgPhillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins has played in only 12 games this season and has served two different stints on the 15-day disabled list due to a pesky muscle strain in his right calf. 

When healthy he’s been great, batting .341 with a .462 on-base percentage in 41 at-bats, but it’s hard to help a team in such a limited fashion.  The Phillies trail the red-hot Braves by two games in the National League East standings and have only a slight edge over the Mets.  The club needs offense, and hopefully Rollins will soon be able to provide it.

According to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the veteran shortstop is scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment on Monday with Single-A Clearwater.  That should put him about one week away from rejoining the Phillies’ starting lineup and providing his usual brand of offensive spark.  For now, Juan Castro and Wilson Valdez will continue to handle shortstop duties.

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.