Justin Masterson is all over the AL Central radar

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Over the last two weeks, it has been reported that the Indians and Twins were both interested in free agent pitcher Justin Masterson. The White Sox and Tigers are also in the mix, writes Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer, and the Royals could be as well if they aren’t able to bring back James Shields. Call it a clean sweep for the AL Central.

Masterson missed 26 games between the end of June and early August with a right knee injury. It was revealed recently that he had also been pitching with ribcage and shoulder injuries in the latter half of the season.

The 29-year-old right-hander posted a miserable 5.88 ERA with a 116/69 K/BB ratio in 128 2/3 innings combined between the Indians and Cardinals. With his injury woes behind him, however, he makes for a good bounce-back candidate in the 2015 season.

Joe Kelly’s suspension reduced to 5 games on appeal

Joe Kelly suspended eight
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LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly had his suspension for throwing pitches near the heads of Houston hitters reduced to five games on appeal.

Kelly was originally penalized eight games by Major League Baseball on July 29, a day after throwing a 96 mph fastball near the head of Houston’s Alex Bregman and two curveballs that brushed back Carlos Correa.

The Dodgers on Wednesday confirmed the reduced penalty.

Kelly went on the 10-day injured list retroactive to last Sunday with right shoulder inflammation. He will serve his suspension when he returns.

After striking out Corea, Kelly curled his lip into a pouting expression and exchanged words with the shortstop.

Benches cleared after Kelly’s actions during the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 5-2 win at Houston in the teams’ first meeting since it was revealed the Astros stole signs en route to a 2017 World Series title over the Dodgers.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts served his one-game suspension the same day the penalty was handed down. Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount.

Kelly denied that he purposely threw at the Astros. He has previously been suspended in his career for throwing at a batter.

The penalties were imposed by former pitcher Chris Young, MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations, who issued his first ruling since taking over the job from Joe Torre.