Red Sox

Hill (elbow) to be examined on Monday


Hill (elbow) to be examined on Monday

BOSTON A year and a day after Tommy John surgery, left-hander Rich Hill has been placed on the disabled list with tightness in his left elbow.

In the Red Sox clubhouse early Sunday morning, Hill said that on Monday he was going to be examined by Dr. James Andrews, who performed the surgery on June 9, 2011.

Rich Hill had a little tightness in his elbow and because of the situation thats hes dealing with in the first year of his rehabilitation were going to have him go back to Dr. Andrews, the doctor who performed the operation, to get his opinion on why he has that tightness, manager Bobby Valentine said.

He just doesnt feel that good throwing his curveball. And hopefully it'll come back as kind of an SOP standard operating procedure, that this is the way things happen as you recover from Tommy John.

Hes off the roster so hes on the disabled list for two weeks. Mark Melancon, whos just been lights out at Triple A is up, taking his spot in the bullpen.

Valentine said the issue with Hills elbow first cropped up about three weeks ago, then subsided. But, after Hills latest outing one inning against the Nationals on Friday night, when he faced four batters, gave up two hits with one strikeout the problem flared. Before that, he had not pitched since June 3 in Toronto, one inning facing four batters with two hits and a strikeout.

He said about three weeks ago it bothered him a little and then it went away and no problem, Valentine said. I heard about it one of those days where I didnt use him for three days and then he said he was fine. Then I think it was about five days since he was in a game the other day and in that game he threw those four curve balls to Washingtons Bryce Harper. Just didn't feel great about it.

Valentine, who said Hill has undergone some tests that were OK, said he did not notice a difference in the way Hill was throwing.

I didnt think he was throwing much different, Valentine said. I think his curveball just didn't have the same late break, but I dont know if thats elbow-related.

In 17 appearances, spanning 13 23 innings, Hill has a record of 1-0 with a 2.63 ERA. He has allowed 12 hits with seven walks, giving up four runs, with 11 strikeouts.

Hills absence leaves two lefties in the bullpen, Andrew Miller and Franklin Morales, who had recently been getting stretched out (7 13 innings in his last two appearances) in case the Sox need an emergency spot starter. Valentine said that plan could be affected now. He would not consider using Vicente Padilla in a long role.

Absolutely not, Valentine said. I mean, he probably could but I wouldnt consider that, not at this time. Much too valuable in the role hes had.

MLB will institute rules to pick up pace, with or without players' agreement


MLB will institute rules to pick up pace, with or without players' agreement

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Major League Baseball will change rules to speed games next year with or without an agreement with the players' association.

Management proposed last offseason to institute a 20-second pitch clock, allow one trip to the mound by a catcher per pitcher each inning and raise the bottom of the strike zone from just beneath the kneecap to its pre-1996 level at the top of the kneecap. The union didn't agree, and clubs have the right to impose those changes unilaterally for 2018.

Players and MLB have held initial bargaining since summer, and MLB chief legal officer Dan Halem said this week he would like an agreement by mid-January.

"My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players, but if we can't get an agreement we are going to have rule changes in 2018 one way or the other," baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday after a quarterly owners' meeting.

Nine-inning games averaged a record 3 hours, 5 minutes during the regular season and 3:29 during the postseason.

Corey Kluber beats Chris Sale for American League Cy Young


Corey Kluber beats Chris Sale for American League Cy Young

Max Scherzer heard his name and thrust his arms in the air, shouting and smiling big before turning to kiss his wife.

Corey Kluber, on the other hand, gulped once and blinked.

Two aces, two different styles - and now another Cy Young Award for each.

The animated Scherzer of the Washington Nationals coasted to his third Cy Young, winning Wednesday for the second straight year in the National League. He breezed past Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, drawing 27 of the 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Kluber's win was even more of a runaway. The Cleveland Indians ace took 28 first-place votes, easily outpacing Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox for his second AL Cy Young.

Scherzer yelled "yes!" when his award was announced on MLB Network, a reaction in keeping with his expressive reputation. He showed that intensity often this year, whether he was cursing under his breath like a madman during his delivery or demanding - also with expletives - that manager Dusty Baker leave him in the game.

Just a little different than the pitcher they call "Klubot." Kluber was stoic as ever when announced as the AL winner. He swallowed hard but otherwise didn't react, only showing the hint of a smile moments later when answering questions.

Not that he wasn't thrilled.

"Winning a second one maybe, for me personally, kind of validates the first one," Kluber said.

Scherzer's win moves him into rare company. He's the 10th pitcher with at least three Cy Youngs, and among the other nine, only Kershaw and Roger Clemens aren't in the Hall of Fame.

"That's why I'm drinking a lot of champagne tonight," Scherzer said.

Scherzer earned the NL honor last year with Washington and the 2013 American League prize with Detroit.

"This one is special," he said. "When you start talking about winning three times, I can't even comprehend it at this point."

Scherzer was 16-6 with a career-best 2.51 ERA this year. The 33-year-old righty struck out a league-leading 268 for the NL East champion Nationals, and in an era noted for declining pitcher durability, he eclipsed 200 innings for the fifth straight season. He had to overcome a variety of ailments to get there, and Washington's training staff was high on his thank-you list.

"Everybody had a role in keeping me out on the field," he said. "I'm very thankful for all their hard work."

Kershaw has won three NL Cy Youngs and was the last pitcher to win back-to-back. He was 18-4 with a league-best 2.31 ERA and 202 strikeouts. This is his second runner-up finish. Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals finished third.

Kluber missed a month of the season with back pain and still easily won the AL award over Sale and third-place finisher Luis Severino of the New York Yankees. Kluber led the majors with a 2.25 ERA, and his 18 wins tied for the most in baseball. He added to the Cy Young he won with the Indians in 2014 and is the 19th pitcher to win multiple times.

The 31-year-old Kluber was especially dominant down the stretch, closing out the season by going 11-1 to help Cleveland win the AL Central. He and Minnesota's Ervin Santana tied for the major league lead with five complete games - nobody else had more than two. Kluber also led the majors with 8.0 wins above replacement, per

Kluber and Scherzer both had rough outings in the playoffs. Kluber gave up nine runs over two starts in an AL Division Series against the Yankees, and Scherzer blew a save in the decisive Game 5 of an NL Division Series against the Cubs.

Scherzer said he couldn't even watch the League Championship Series, although he did tune in for the World Series.

"That will eat at me this whole offseason," he said.

Voting for the awards was completed before the postseason began.

The final BBWAA honors will come Thursday when the MVP awards are announced in the AL and NL.