Ryan Braun (hand) may be ready to be activated from the disabled list prior to the All-Star break.
MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports that the rehabbing outfielder went through a session of live batting practice Saturday afternoon at Milwaukee’s Miller Park for the first time since hitting the shelf and said later that his right hand felt “great.”
Braun has been on the disabled list since June 9 with an inflamed nerve. He will hit in the cages on Sunday and then take another round of live batting practice on Monday. If that all goes well, the 29-year-old should then be cleared to play in a couple of minor league rehab games. McCalvy suspects that Braun might rejoin the Brewers’ active roster on Thursday.
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.