UPDATE: Today’s excellent rehab outing was enough for Buchholz to secure his return to the majors. According to Tim Britton of the Providence Journal, his next start will be with the Red Sox. The exact date is still to be determined, but it will presumably be next week.
5:25 p.m. ET: Clay Buchholz struggled in his first minor-league rehab start last week, but fared much better this afternoon by tossing six shutout innings at Triple-A Pawtucket.
Buchholz, who’s on the disabled list with a hyperextended knee, allowed two hits and two walks while striking out five. Before being shut down he was terrible for the Red Sox, posting a 7.02 ERA in 10 starts after having a remarkable 2013 campaign that saw him go 12-1 with a 1.74 ERA in 16 starts.
There’s no word yet on if Buchholz’s performance today was enough to convince the Red Sox he’s ready to rejoin the rotation.
Per Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Padres have announced that interim manager Pat Murphy won’t return as the team’s manager in 2016. Haudricourt adds that Brewres manager Craig Counsell tried to get Murphy on his staff, and says to look for Murphy to join the Brewers for the 2016 season.
Murphy led the Padres to a 42-53 record after Bud Black was fired in June. He had previously managed for two years with Single-A Eugene in 2011-12, and at Triple-A Tucson and El Paso in 2013-14.
Former major leaguer Phil Nevin is a candidate for the Padres’ vacant managing position, according to Scott Miller of Bleacher Report.
With a 6-1 win over the Twins in Sunday’s season finale, the Royals clinched the best record in the American League, which nets them home field advantage in the ALDS and ALCS. The Royals stand at 95-67 while the Blue Jays, who lost on Sunday, finish at 93-69.
95-67 is the Royals’ best record since finishing 97-65 in 1980, when they lost the World Series to the Phillies. Their division title is their first since 1985.
In the ALDS, which starts on Thursday, the Royals will host the winner of the AL Wild Card game between the Astros and Yankees. They are looking to avenge last year’s World Series loss, in seven games, to the Giants. The Blue Jays will host the Rangers in the other ALDS series.