Less than two weeks after coming off the disabled list Diamondbacks utility man Geoff Blum is headed back to the shelf.
Blum, who missed the entire first half following knee surgery and has played just seven games all season, suffered a fractured right pinkie finger yesterday and is expected to be sidelined for at least a few weeks.
He initially tried to remain in the game after the injury, which came while fielding a ground ball, but couldn’t grip the bat and had “shooting pain” when he tried to throw an inning later.
Arizona’s decision to hand Blum a two-year, $2.7 million contract in November looked odd because he’s a 38-year-old career-long role player with a sub-.700 OPS, but now because of the injuries they haven’t even gotten the mediocre utility man they overpaid for.
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.