Ian Kinsler was cleared to resume baseball activities Tuesday after an MRI showed significant improvement with his strained left groin, according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com.
Kinsler took batting practice and ran sprints in the outfield Tuesday. He’s expecting to ramp up his workouts as the week continues, but a rehab assignment is not imminent.
“I need to take my time to get into shape,” Kinsler said. “I don’t want
to pull a hamstring because I’m not in shape. I want to make sure my
body is ready to go.”
Kinsler told Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he doesn’t anticipate returning from the disabled list until before or on September 1, so we’re probably still looking at about another week before he is back. Kinsler has been sidelined since July 27 due to the injury.
One benefit of having an 8 1/2 game lead in the American League West? He can take all the time he needs.
On a related note, the Rangers purchased the contract of Alex Cora from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Tuesday and designated Joaquin Arias for assignment.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.