john lackey getty

John Lackey scratched from final regular season start


From beat reporter Sean McAdam of CSN New England comes word that Red Sox righty John Lackey has been scratched from his scheduled start in Sunday’s regular season finale against the Orioles for the purpose of rest. Boston has already secured the American League East title and the top spot in the American League playoff seeding, so there’s nothing left to gain on Sunday at Camden Yards.

Allen Webster is going to start in Lackey’s place.

Lackey, 34, will finish the 2013 regular season with a cool 3.52 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 161/40 K/BB ratio in 189 1/3 innings. The Red Sox will open their five-game ALDS this Friday at Fenway Park against the winner of the American League Wild Card Game.

Miguel Cabrera, Dee Gordon win AL and NL batting titles, respectively

Miguel Cabrera
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Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera didn’t play in the Tigers’ season finale against the White Sox, but he has officially clinched the AL batting title with a .338 average following Sunday’s action. It’s Cabrera’s fourth batting title in his last five seasons.

Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon entered Sunday’s season finale with a bit more pressure. He was in a tight race with Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper for the NL batting title, trailing only by rounding to the fourth place, .3307 to .3306. Gordon went 3-for-4 in a loss to the Phillies while Harper went 1-for-4 in a loss to the Mets. As a result, Gordon officially won the NL batting title with a .330 average. It’s the first batting title of Gordon’s brief career. Hanley Ramirez was the Marlins’ last batting champion, doing so in 2009.

Report: Angels to announce Billy Eppler as new GM on Monday

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Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels are expected to announce Billy Eppler as their new general manager on Monday. Eppler had been serving as the assistant general manager with the Yankees.

Jerry DiPoto had been the Angels’ GM but he stepped down on July 1. DiPoto later joined the Red Sox in an advisory role, then was named the Mariners’ new GM last week.

The Angels lost to the Rangers in Sunday’s season finale, which eliminated them from contention for the second AL Wild Card spot. They finished 85-77. Most of their regulars are under contract for the 2016 season, but Eppler will have to decide whether to tender contracts to seven arbitration-eligible players while filling in the rest of the roster.