Jon Garland “is on track to return as early as April 15”

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Jon Garland has been sidelined since early March with a strained oblique muscle, but Owen Perkins of MLB.com reports that he could be cleared to join the Dodgers’ rotation “as early as April 15.”

Before that happens he’ll need to avoid setbacks while throwing a bullpen session Friday and then making a minor-league rehab start at Single-A, so manager Don Mattingly stressed that an April 15 return would be “the best-case scenario.”

By signing Garland to a one-year deal this offseason the Dodgers headed into spring training with six starters for five rotation spots, but Garland’s strained oblique muscle and Vicente Padilla’s forearm surgery quickly caused that depth to vanish.

Mattingly told Perkins that Garland has been pushing hard to come off the disabled list sooner than the Dodgers have mapped out, which isn’t surprising given that his incentive-laden contract has significant bonuses based on innings.

Report: Tigers to hire Ron Gardenhire as new manager

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The Tigers are expected to hire Ron Gardenhire as the team’s new manager upon completion of a contract, per Ken Rosenthal and Katie Strang of The Athletic. Gardenhire, 59, spent the 2017 season serving as the bench coach for the Diamondbacks.

Gardenhire managed the Twins for 13 seasons between 2002-14, amassing a 1,068-1,039 (.507) record in the regular season and reaching the playoffs six times.

According to Strang and Rosenthal, Gardenhire was one of 10 candidates to interview with the Tigers. Others included Alex Cora, Mike Redmond, Fredi Gonzalez, Joe McEwing, Hensley Meulens, Dave Clark, and Omar Vizquel. Apparently, GM Al Avila wanted a manager with previous major league managing experience.

The Tigers parted ways with previous manager Brad Ausmus at the end of the 2017 regular season, his fourth year at the helm.