Friday, February 23, 2018
Sports

Dodgers' Kershaw takes important step in recovery

LOS ANGELES — LHP Clayton Kershaw threw 25 pitches off a mound Sunday, and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said there was "definitely encouraging" progress in his rehab from a back injury.

The Dodgers have not set a timetable for the three-time Cy Young Award winner's return.

"He will not be in the rotation when we come back from the break," Roberts said.

RHPs Bud Norris, Brandon McCarthy and Kenta Maeda are scheduled to pitch the three games beginning Friday in Arizona. LHPs Scott Kazmir and Hyun-Jin Ryu will pitch the first two games in Washington on July 19 and 20.

Asked if Kershaw could join the rotation after each pitcher takes one turn, Roberts said he was "not sure."

"No, Kershaw and everyone is going to stay in their turn, so however it lines up after that," Roberts said.

Kershaw, who leads the majors with a 1.79 ERA, is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list today. The team placed him on the DL on July 1, retroactive to June 27 with a "mild disc herniation" in his back.

Kershaw complained of increased back stiffness after his June 26 start, when he gave up four runs and nine hits in six innings in Pittsburgh. He returned to Los Angeles to be examined by Dr. Robert Watkins three days later and received an epidural to relieve the pain.

On Sunday, Kershaw took the mound in the Dodgers bullpen about two hours before their final game before the All-Star break against the Padres. He threw from a windup to C A.J. Ellis.

"He's throwing a little touch-and-feel light pen," Roberts said before the game.

Kershaw threw three pitches with Ellis standing behind the plate before the catcher dropped into a crouch for the final 22 pitches of the 10-minute session conducted with team physicians looking on. Roberts watched the final dozen or so pitches at the bullpen gate.

"To see Clayton throwing in a pen off a mound is definitely encouraging," Roberts said.

ALL-STAR GAME: White Sox RHP Jose Quintana replaced Indians RHP Danny Salazar on the AL roster. A first-time All-Star, Quintana has a 3.21 ERA, tied for fifth in the AL, and is sixth with 1172/3 innings.

BLUE JAYS: 1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion dropped his appeal of a one-game suspension for making contact with umpire Vic Carapazza and sat out the game against the Tigers.

PADRES: The team agreed to terms with 17-year-old Cuban LHP Adrian Morejon on a deal that includes an $11 million signing bonus and is pending a physical. Morejon led Cuba's 15-under league with 113 strikeouts in 68 innings in 2014 and had a 1.93 ERA while issuing 40 walks.

PIRATES: OF Gregory Polanco did not play for a second straight game due to left hamstring tightness.

REDS: RHP Homer Bailey (elbow surgery), who made a rehab start Thursday at Triple-A Louisville, is expected to pitch again Friday and July 20 before potentially returning to the majors, manager Bryan Price said.

TIGERS: Manager Brad Ausmus said he was aware of an argument OF Anthony Gose had with Triple-A Toledo manager Lloyd McClendon on Saturday but didn't know the details. Gose, who was Detroit's opening day centerfielder but was demoted in May, was pulled from a doubleheader opener and banished from the dugout after a heated exchange with McClendon in the middle of the third inning.

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