Blue Jays place Colby Rasmus on DL, call up Kevin Pillar

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Colby Rasmus is headed to the disabled list with an oblique strain and the Blue Jays have called up outfielder Kevin Pillar to replace him on the roster.

Rasmus was having a very nice bounceback season after struggling last year, hitting .273 with 18 homers, 26 doubles, and an .812 OPS in 112 games at age 26. Now he’ll miss the rest of this month and, based on how most oblique injuries go, could be sidelined well into September.

Pillar will be making his MLB debut at age 24 after hitting .307 with nine homers, 23 steals, and an .814 OPS in 123 games between Double-A and Triple-A. He was a 32nd-round pick and is not considered a top prospect, but Pillar is a career .321 hitter in 311 games as a minor leaguer.

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.