Jeff Suppan

Jeff Suppan returns to Royals on a minor league contract

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Released by the Giants near the end of spring training Jeff Suppan has found a new home with the Royals, signing a minor-league contract today.

Suppan pitched for Kansas City from 1998 to 2002, going from journeyman to consistent 200-inning starter during that time, and also knows current Royals manager Ned Yost from their days together with the Brewers. However, he’s now 36 years old and a long way from a dependable innings eater. He’ll join the rotation at Triple-A.

Milwaukee released Suppan in the middle of last season, eating around $8 million in salary, and after latching on with St. Louis he finished 3-8 with a 5.06 ERA in 101 innings overall. This spring he had a 5.50 ERA in 18 innings, allowing 12 runs while managing just five strikeouts, and Suppan hasn’t had an ERA better than the league average since 2007.

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.