Red Sox

Ortiz (Achilles) not sure if he'll return this season

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Ortiz (Achilles) not sure if he'll return this season

BOSTON Sitting in the Red Sox dugout late Sunday morning, still wearing a black plastic boot on his right foot, David Ortiz said he is not sure he will be back this season.

Well see, he said. Well see how it goes. It all depends on what the doctors saying, how I'm feeling. But right now, were just focused on make sure Im doing the right thing.

Ortiz has missed 50 games with the right Achilles strain that has kept him out of all but one game since July 17. He received an injection of platelet-rich plasma PRP almost two weeks ago. While the treatment seems to be working, there is still uncertainty.

Asked if he thought the designated hitter would be shut down this season, manager Bobby Valentine replied:

I would assume that. He had the boot on again yesterday and unless David decides hes totally pain-free as of our last conversation he says he feels much better and the platelet-rich plasma shot seems to have really worked. But I think it takes a couple of weeks for that to totally set in. Maybe hell come out and start taking batting practice. Itll be time for him to get back into the lineup, obviously, if he felt a hundred percent today.

Would it be wise for Ortiz to play before then?

Well, it wouldnt be, Valentine said. If there was any jeopardy, any chance of him being injured, it wouldnt be wise at all. That conversation has been had with David . . . numerous times.

The doctors are looking forward to making sure I dont have to worry about this anymore then just give me the tryout, Ortiz said. I think thats the goal right now and we dont see the point of coming back and not being ready yet.

Ortiz is aware ending the season on the DL could affect his pending free agency.

I think, of course, whoever is going to sign you they want to make sure that you are healthy, he said. Everybody knows that. Its not a secret. But on the other hand, I think itll be fine.

It hasnt been easy for him to sit and watch.

Ive been struggling a little bit, just sitting down for this long and just watching baseball, he said. Its been not even fun watching baseball anymore. Just been sitting for this long. But it is what it is, right? And just got to wait.

While there has been improvement, Ortiz knows hes not close to 100 percent yet.

Im not there yet, he said. Im not there because when they do that PRP thing theyre kind of digging at it and theyre adding something that wasnt there. So Ive got to go back in place and start the healing process and like everybody knows, thats not easy. So Im pretty sure that after I get the boot off Im going to start getting treatment different than what Im getting right now. It all depends on how sensitive it still can be down there.

After Sunday there are just eight home games left, the final on Sept. 26 against the Rays. Would he like be back for one of them?

To be honest with you what Im looking for right now is to make sure I heal up the right way, he said. I pushed it once. It didnt work. So Im not going to push it again. If Im good to go, Im good to go.

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

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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

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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 baseball-reference.com.

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.

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