Alex Avila begins rehab assignment for concussion

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Alex Avila has been sidelined since suffering a concussion on August 10, but the Tigers catcher was cleared to begin a minor-league rehab assignment last night.

Avila went 0-for-2 with a walk at Triple-A, spending three innings behind the plate. His early exit was planned, although three innings are fewer than expected. Jason Beck of reports that Avila will be back at catcher tonight for Toledo.

Avila is part of a disturbing number of catchers to spend time on the concussion DL during the past month. In his absence the Tigers have turned to Brayan Pena and rookie Bryan Holaday at catcher. Holaday hit his first career homer yesterday versus Minnesota.

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.