Justin Masterson Cardinals

Justin Masterson may get bumped from Cardinals’ rotation


So far at least a change of scenery hasn’t done Justin Masterson any good. He had a 5.51 ERA in 19 starts for the Indians and now he has a 7.43 ERA in five starts for the Cardinals.

Masterson failed to make it out of the fourth inning Sunday against the Phillies, allowing five runs while recording nine outs, and Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post Dispatch writes that “the staff will have to reconsider his spot in the rotation” if his next scheduled start Saturday goes poorly as well.

St. Louis added both Masterson and John Lackey at the trade deadline and the two veteran starters have combined to post a 6.38 ERA in 48 innings. Lackey is signed through 2015, but Masterson is an impending free agent whose likely market value has plummeted.

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.