Indians outfielder Nick Swisher has not appeared in a game since June 15 due to soreness in his left shoulder. But he is apparently feeling much better.
From Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer comes word that Swisher is tentatively scheduled to return to the Indians’ starting lineup this Saturday against the Twins. He will take batting practice on Friday to be sure that his shoulder is sound.
Swisher is batting .237/.337/.402 with seven home runs and 24 RBI in 61 games this season for the Tribe. He signed a four-year, $56 million free agent contract in early January that also includes a $14 million vesting option for 2017.
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.