Justin Duchscherer

Duchscherer held private workouts for two AL clubs


Free agent right-hander Justin Duchscherer may be close to finding a new team.

The right-hander drew interest from the Yankees earlier this winter and, according to ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick, held private workouts with two other American League clubs last week.

Duchscherer tallied only 28 total innings last year for the A’s and sat out for all of 2009, but the 33-year-old still boasts a strong 3.13 career ERA and 1.14 career WHIP across seven major league seasons.

Also, he’s claiming to be fully healed from the hip surgery that cut short his 2010 campaign and he’s expected to be a full participant during spring training.

On a one-year contract with a low base salary and a couple million dollars in incentives, “The Duke of Hurl” would make a fine gamble for clubs in need of rotation depth.  There are many of those.

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.