Tigers demote starter Rick Porcello to AAA Toledo

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The Tigers on Sunday made the decision to option struggling right-handed starter Rick Porcello to Triple-A Toledo, according to the club’s official Twitter feed.

Fellow Detroit starter Max Scherzer met the same fate in mid-May and that has certainly worked out well.  The 25-year-old former Mizzou Tiger and Diamondback regained his confidence against the lesser competition found at the Triple-A ranks and has racked up 33 strikeouts in 24 innings since being called back to the majors.

The Tigers will hope that the younger Porcello can match that success, or at least come close.

Porcello, 21, was drafted 27th overall in the 2007 MLB Amateur Draft and posted a 3.96 ERA, a 1.34 WHIP and a 14-9 record in 2009, finishing third in the American League Rookie of the Year Award voting behind A’s closer Andrew Bailey and Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus.  He was optioned to Toledo on Sunday with a 6.14 ERA, a 1.69 WHIP and a 4-7 win-loss record.

Clayton Kershaw could return on September 1

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Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw has been out since July 24 with a lower back strain. He’s slated to throw a three-inning simulated game in Pittsburgh on Monday, per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. Plunkett adds that if all goes well, the earliest Kershaw could return is August 31 against the Diamondbacks, but September 1 is more likely against the Padres.

Kershaw, 29, hit the disabled list on a pace to win his fourth Cy Young Award. He’s 15-2 with a 2.04 ERA and a 168/24 K/BB ratio in 141 1/3 innings.

The Dodgers have managed just fine without Kershaw. The club is 19-4 since July 24. At 87-35, the Dodgers own baseball’s best record, well ahead of the second-best Astros at 76-48.

Ian Kinsler was fined for ripping umpires publicly. Brad Ausmus says it’s the largest fine he’s seen in 25 years.

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Last week, Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler was ejected from a game against the Rangers after giving home plate umpire Angel Hernandez a look after a pitch was thrown outside for a ball. Kinsler was apparently unhappy with calls Hernandez had made earlier. Manager Brad Ausmus, too, was ejected.

After the game, Kinsler said that Hernandez “needs to find another job.” He added, “…he needs to stop ruining baseball games.”

Kinsler was fined by Major League Baseball for his remarks, Mlive’s Evan Woodbery reports. According to Ausmus, the fine levied on Kinsler was the largest one he’s seen in nearly 25 years in baseball. Kinsler said, “I said what I felt and what I thought. If they take offense to that, then that’s their problem.” Ausmus said, “To single out one player as a union is completely uncalled for.”

As Ashley noted on Saturday, the umpires wore white wristbands to protest “escalating attacks on umpires.” The umpires agreed to drop their protest on Sunday after commissioner Rob Manfred agreed to meet with the umpire union’s governing board, Gabe Lacques of USA TODAY Sports reports.