Tigers infielder Ramon Santiago “could be a possibility” for Phillies as Chase Utley insurance

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Danny Knobler, who covered the Tigers in Detroit prior to working at CBSSports.com, reports that Ramon Santiago “could be a possibility” for the Phillies as they look to add depth following the latest news on Chase Utley’s knee injury.

Santiago has split time at shortstop for the Tigers during the past few seasons, but is slated to be a backup this year after the team re-signed midseason pickup Jhonny Peralta to a two-year, $11.25 million deal.

Santiago has logged more than 3,000 career innings at shortstop and another 950 innings at second base, but aside from a flukey .870 OPS in a part-time role a few years ago the 31-year-old switch-hitter hasn’t offered much production offensively. Of course, even his measly .681 OPS during the past two seasons is better than the .665 OPS posted by Wilson Valdez, who’s the most likely in-house option to replace Utley.

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.