Kershaw will run through walls, unfortunately

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kershaw_090907.jpgWhen you get into a fight with a drunk, you don’t hit him with your pitching hand. Furthermore, when you run into an outfield wall, you don’t lead with your pitching shoulder.

At least Clayton Kershaw got that right.

The Dodgers left-hander, effectively wild this season while compiling an 8-8 record with a 2.89 ERA in 28 starts, joined the annals of odd sports injuries when he ran into the outfield wall at Dodger Stadium on Monday while shagging fly balls during batting practice.

He’ll have to miss Friday’s start — at least — with a bruised right (non-throwing) shoulder.

“I wish it didn’t happen. It was one of those freak things. I feel bad. I kind of feel like I’m letting the team down a little bit by missing a start,” said Kershaw, whose ERA is ninth in the NL.

“It is obviously pretty disappointing. It’s really frustrating, too. At the same time, it is what it is. I just have to get better now.”

Luckily for the Dodgers, they have plenty of bodies in the rotation with the acquisitions of Vicente Padilla and Jon Garland. If Randy Wolf is moved up from his Saturday start, he would still be going on the standard five days’ rest. So there is no need to rush Kershaw back, even though the weekend series against the Giants is a big one.

Meanwhile, someone should give Kershaw a map of Dodger Stadium, since he doesn’t seem to know his way around out there.

“I wasn’t running really hard, but at the same time if you don’t know something is there and you run into it, you don’t brace for it at all,” Kershaw said.

Don’t know it’s there? That big blue thing? In your home park? Oh well, at least he didn’t do this …

 

 

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If you Twitter, and laugh in the face of wall danger, feel free to follow me at @Bharks.

Colby Rasmus could start 2017 on the disabled list

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Colby Rasmus isn’t ready to take outfield reps just yet. According to Rays’ manager Kevin Cash, that’s a red flag, one that could potentially postpone Rasmus’ debut as the club’s designated hitter and outfielder in 2017. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Rasmus will need to prove he can play a defensive position before getting cleared for the active roster, something which the veteran outfielder has yet to do this spring.

Rasmus, 30, signed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Rays following his two-year run with the Astros. He batted a meager .206/.286/.355 with 15 home runs and a .641 OPS in 2016 and was shut down in late September with an unspecified hip/groin issue. Entering the 2017 season, he’s expected to work his way back to a full-time role after undergoing surgery to repair his core muscle and left hip labrum last October.

The Rays also finalized their one-year, $1.2 million deal with catcher Derek Norris on Saturday and will need to clear room for him on the 40-man roster. Topkin speculates that the move could send Rasmus to the 60-day disabled list, though the outfielder is not projected to miss more than a couple weeks of the regular season.

Report: Rangers agree to six-year extension with Rougned Odor

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The Rangers have reportedly agreed to a six-year, $49.5 million extension for second baseman Rougned Odor, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports and Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The extension comes with a club option for a seventh year, Heyman adds.

It’s close to the six-year, $52.5 million extension Jason Kipnis netted with the Indians in 2014, a sum Odor was rumored to be seeking during contract negotiations over the last two years. Granted, the circumstances are a little different this time around. Both players signed extensions on the cusp of their fourth year in the major leagues, but at 27 years old, Kipnis was coming off of an All-Star campaign and a career-high 4.5 fWAR performance. Odor, meanwhile, saw mixed results in 2016, batting 33 home runs and putting up 2.0 fWAR while struggling to stay consistent at the plate and exhibiting poor defense.

According to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, Odor previously agreed to a $563,180 salary for 2017. Depending on when the extension kicks in, it should cover all three of Odor’s arbitration-eligible seasons and two seasons of potential free agency. The team has yet to confirm the extension.