David Ortiz gets World Series MVP honors

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It wasn’t exactly a shocker, but after batting .688 with two homers, David Ortiz was named World Series MVP following Boston’s Game 6 victory over the Cardinals.

Ortiz tied World Series and postseason records with four walks and three intentional walks in the Game 6 victory. He came around to score after two of them. He struck out in his lone official at-bat, dropping his average from .733 to .688.

Ortiz also earlier tied Billy Hatcher’s World Series record (1990 Reds) by reaching base in nine straight plate appearances between Games 3, 4 and 5. He hit both of his homers and drove in five of his six runs in Games 1 and 2.

To say Ortiz was Boston’s leading hitter would be one of the great understatements of our time. The batting averages of the nine Red Sox to play tonight:

.250 (Jacoby Ellsbury)
.208 (Dustin Pedroia)
.688
.154 (Mike Napoli)
.118 (Jonny Gomes)
.154 (Shane Victorino)
.238 (Xander Bogaerts)
.158 (Stephen Drew)
.188 (David Ross)

Still, there was some competition for MVP in the form of Jon Lester, who allowed just one run over 15 1/3 innings in winning Games 1 and 5.

The World Series MVP honor is a first for Ortiz, who is now a three-time world champion. He did win ALCS MVP in 2004 against the Yankees.

Julio Urias to undergo season-ending shoulder surgery

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The news has gone from bad to worse for Dodgers’ left-hander Julio Urias, who is scheduled for anterior capsule surgery on his left shoulder next Tuesday and expected to be sidelined through the middle of the 2018 season. His MRI came back negative on Wednesday, giving the Dodgers some hope that the 20-year-old’s bout of shoulder inflammation wasn’t masking any structural damage, but the pain lingered several days later and prompted further concern from the club. The procedure will be performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache.

Urias was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City in late May and placed on the disabled list with left shoulder discomfort several weeks into his assignment. At the major league level, he owned a 5.40 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 4.2 SO/9 through 23 1/3 innings, going 0-2 in five starts with Los Angeles. He made a brief rebound in Triple-A, posting three wins and striking out 17 of 67 batters in 17 1/3 innings before landing on the DL.

It’s a tough blow for the southpaw, who had yet to hit his stride in the majors before getting sidelined with shoulder issues. The Dodgers were especially mindful of this outcome for Urias, and had taken preventative measures to protect his arm by establishing a strict innings limit last season. According to club president Andrew Friedman, there’s a small silver lining here: while Urias’ injury will keep him out of work for at least 12 months, he doesn’t appear to have sustained any damage to his labrum or rotator cuff, and could be facing a much more streamlined recovery process as a result. Whether he’ll be able to rebound once he takes the mound again remains to be seen.

Tigers release Francisco Rodriguez

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Tigers’ right-handed reliever Francisco Rodriguez was released on Friday, per a team announcement. The club recalled fellow right-hander Bruce Rondon from Triple-A Toledo in a corresponding move.

The former closer got the boot after losing his closing role in early May, giving left-hander Justin Wilson a chance to impress at the back end of the bullpen. It’s been a rough year for Rodriguez, who manufactured six blown saves and a 7.82 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 25 1/3 innings for the Tigers. The final straw, it seemed, came with Robinson Cano‘s grand slam in the seventh inning of the Tigers’ 6-9 loss to the Mariners on Thursday.

While the demotion to a clean-up role and an apparent lack of communication caused Rodriguez considerable frustration, he’s two years removed from his last dominant performance as a major league closer and has shown few signs of returning to form. His recent slump doesn’t diminish the impressive totals he’s racked up over his 16-year career — 437 saves and six All-Star nominations among them — but if he can’t break out of it soon, he may not receive the kind of high leverage role he’s seeking with another big league team, either.