Troy Tulowitzki

Jose Abreu, Troy Tulowitzki named players of the month for April


White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu and Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki have been named Players of the Month for April.

Not bad for Abreu, who also happened to be playing his first ever month in the big leagues. In all, Abreu batted .270 (31-for-115) with eight doubles, one triple, 10 home runs, 32 RBI and 20 runs scored in 29 games, leading the Majors in homers, RBI, total bases (71) and extra-base hits (19). He set major league records for rookies in all four of those categories.

Tulowitzki led the majors with a .477 on-base percentage and a .727 slugging percentage. He was second in hitting behind teammate Charlie Blackmon, posting a .364 average for the month, he scored 24 runs scored (1st), had 64 total bases (2nd), knocked in 22 runs (T-3rd), had seven home runs (T-4th) and nine doubles (T-5th) too.

Abreu, at 27, is clearly a fully-formed product. Tulowitzki is, after a lot of injuries, healthy as can be. Both of them just had a whale of a month.

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.