Phillies still trying hard for Hunter Pence

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While there’s some thought out there that they’ve soured on a potential Carlos Beltran deal, the Phillies have been the most aggressive suitors for Houston’s Hunter Pence, FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reports.

Rosenthal also tweets that the Red Sox have inquired about Pence, but that they’ve had a tough time finding a match with the Astros, and that the Braves aren’t currently involved in the chase.

The Astros will want an awful lot for Pence, but the Phillies have exactly the type of player Houston should desire in return in Domonic Brown.  The Phillies won’t part with Brown for two months of Carlos Beltran, but two years and two months of Pence could be a different story.  Pence will get expensive in arbitration, but he’s not going to be a free agent until after the 2013 season.

Pence has hit .308/.356/.470 with 11 homers and 62 RBI this season.  With his name involved in trade rumors, he has struggled since the All-Star break, going 6-for-36 in 10 games.

 

Dodgers plan to tab Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of World Series

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MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers plan to tab ace Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of the World Series. Nothing is set in stone yet ahead of Tuesday’s Game 1 of the World Series. In the event Kershaw can’t start Game 1, Rich Hill would start. Otherwise, Hill would start Game 4.

Kershaw, started Game 1 and Game 5 of the NLCS against the Brewers, then closed out Game 7 with a flawless inning. He was hit around to the tune of five runs (four earned) over three-plus innings in Game 1, but rebounded for seven innings of one-run ball in Game 5. He struck out two en route to sending the Dodgers to the World Series in the ninth inning of Game 7.

Kershaw also tossed eight shutout innings against the Braves in Game 2 of the NLDS. Overall, he has a 2.37 ERA in 19 innings this postseason. There was no doubt who would be the Dodgers’ first choice to start Game 1, but it’s a relatively recent situation where the ace of a team also closed out the final game of the previous series.

Hill has put up a 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings this postseason. While he doesn’t have Kershaw’s pedigree, the Dodgers would be confident having him lead off the series. Hill was excellent down the stretch last year, helping the Dodgers reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Astros.

The Red Sox plan to start Chris Sale in Game 1 now that he’s recovered from a brief stint in the hospital due to a stomach ailment. The lefty has a 3.48 in 10 1/3 innings in the playoffs this year. He’s among a handful of candidates for the AL Cy Young award after posting a 2.11 ERA in the regular season, but his lack of innings (158) may hurt him.