Alex Avila cleared to return


Be it a concussion, a “mild concussion,” a sore jaw or whatever else you want to call it, Alex Avila has been cleared to return to action:

Catcher Alex Avila has been cleared to play now that the headaches from his sprained jaw have disappeared. Avila probably will start tonight against the Twins after missing the entire A’s series.

“My jaw is going to be sore for another few days,” he said. “But I feel more normal. No more headaches.”

Maybe it’s just the nature of the coverage Avila and the Tigers get, but it sure seems like there has been less concern about this than one normally sees with a player who was knocked unconscious and suffered memory loss.  All good now? That fast?  Ok …


Clayton Kershaw completes spring training with a 0.00 ERA

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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.