Here’s some rough news for the Dodgers, who begin play tonight 7 1/2 games behind the Giants in the National League West and two games back in the Wild Card race.
According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said tonight that Clayton Kershaw is questionable for Sunday’s start against the Cardinals due to continued pain with his right hip.
Kershaw was scratched from a start last Sunday due to hip inflammation. The southpaw limited the Diamondbacks to an unearned run over seven innings two days later, but was unable to throw a bullpen session Thursday and had to shut things down after just a couple of throws while trying to play catch earlier today. Mattingly isn’t ready to rule him out yet, but it’s obviously a bad sign that this is a lingering issue.
Kershaw is 12-9 with a 2.70 ERA and 206/53 K/BB ratio in 206 2/3 innings over 30 starts this year. He currently ranks second in the National League in ERA and first in strikeouts and innings pitched.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Mariners are among the teams that have contacted the Reds about outfielder Jay Bruce. The Mariners enter play Wednesday 51-48, six games out of first place in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot. Adding an impact bat like Bruce could help in their effort to reach the postseason.
Norichika Aoki and Seth Smith have handled the bulk of the playing time in left field. While Smith has hit well, Aoki has not. Bruce came into Wednesday’s game against the Giants batting .271/.324/.567 with 24 home runs and a league-best 78 RBI.
Bruce can become a free agent after the season if his controlling team declines his $13 million club option for the 2017 season by paying him a $1 million buyout. If he’s traded mid-season, his new team won’t be able to make him a qualifying offer, so the club option may be more enticing than it looks at first glance.
A third-inning two-run home run by Adam Rosales off of R.A. Dickey put the Padres up 2-0, but it also helped the Padres tie a National League record. The Padres have homered in 25 consecutive games, matching the 1998 Braves, the 1994 Tigers, and the 1941 Yankees. The major league record is 27, set by the 2002 Rangers.
The Padres hit three in total on Wednesday in an 8-4 victory against the Blue Jays. One of those dingers was an eighth-inning solo shot by rookie Alex Dickerson, who has now homered in four consecutive games himself. The one he hit on Monday is worth watching, as it got into the upper deck at the Rogers Centre.
As the Padres recently traded Melvin Upton, Jr. to the Jays, Dickerson is likely going to see regular playing time. That’s especially true if he keeps hitting like this.