Matt Capps is back from the disabled list after missing the past two months with a shoulder injury, but in his absence Glen Perkins left no doubt that he’s the Twins’ best closer option.
Since taking over as closer Perkins has converted 14-of-15 save chances with a 1.91 ERA and 35/4 K/BB ratio in 38 innings, whereas Capps has a 3.64 ERA and just 73 total strikeouts in 121 innings since the Twins acquired him from the Nationals in mid-2010.
Capps has a $6 million option for next season, but even after giving up too much to get him and then paying too much to keep him the Twins will presumably cut bait on the 28-year-old right-hander. When healthy he’s a solid enough pitcher, but Capps has always been better suited for setup man duties.
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.
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.