Jon Niese

Jon Niese scratched from Saturday start with shoulder injury


Jon Niese will not make his scheduled Saturday start because of a shoulder injury, the Mets announced.

Niese will be replaced by Collin McHugh, who’s struggled in brief stints with the Mets but has a solid track record in the minors.

Niese’s last start was Monday and he tossed seven innings of one-run ball against the Yankees, but earlier this season the left-hander pitched through neck problems that altered his mechanics. Overall this year Niese has a 4.40 ERA and 35/28 K/BB ratio in 61 innings, striking out a career-low 5.1 per nine innings and walking a career-high 4.1 per nine innings.

UPDATE: Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that Niese has been diagnosed with shoulder tendinitis and will miss “at least” one start. He’s apparently been pitching through discomfort for a while now.

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.