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The Astros name Kevin Goldstein pro scouting coordinator


It’s official: the Astros have named Baseball Prospects’ Kevin Goldstein their Coordinator of Pro Scouting.


Earlier this year the Houston Astros were interested in hiring ESPN writer Keith Law for their front office.  Then they hired Mike Fast from Baseball Prospectus.  In the Jeff Lunhow front office, it seems, writers are the new inefficiency, because Jon Heyman reports thusly:

Months after Luhnow tried to lure Keith Law from ESPN and hired Mike Fast from Baseball Prospectus, the new name being heard is Kevin Goldstein, also from Baseball Prospectus. (Luhnow called Goldstein “very well thought-of” while declining to say whether he’s joining the Astros; Goldstein, known for extensive prospect reviews and clever, sometimes sassy tweets, responded “no comment” via a direct message on Twitter.)

“We want people who are going to share our vision,” Luhnow said. “It doesn’t necessarily need to be a traditional-looking person. We’re going to be open-minded.”

Kevin Goldstein: Clever. Sometimes sassy. Not traditional-looking. I love Kevin, so I could mock him all day!

Seriously, though, hats off (but not Kevin’s, because he ALWAYS wears it) to the Astros for being creative and open-minded in their hiring.  When you hit bottom, as the Astros have competitively speaking, there is zero percentage in playing it safe or traditional.

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.