Wilson Ramos to see hand specialist after injury

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UPDATE: Not so fast, apparently. Nationals manager Matt Williams just told Chase Hughes of CSNWashington.com that X-rays on Ramos’ injured hand came back negative, which contradicts Wagner’s earlier report of a fracture. However, he’ll go for a second opinion from a hand specialist.

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Wilson Ramos’ bad injury luck continues, as James Wagner of the Washington Post reports that the Nationals catcher exited the season opener with a broken bone in his left hand.

Washington made catching depth a priority during the offseason, adding several low-cost veterans before later acquiring Jose Lobaton from the Rays. No word yet on how long Ramos is expected to be sidelined, but Lobaton figures to take over as the primary backstop.

Ramos missed all of 2012 with a knee injury and was limited to 78 games last season with hamstring problems.  In between all the injuries he’s been very good, hitting .270 with a .770 OPS through age 25.

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.