Reds optimistic Mat Latos will throw off mound this week

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Mat Latos is just a little over two weeks removed from left knee surgery, but Reds manager Bryan Price told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com today that he’s “optimistic” that he’ll be able to throw off a mound by the end of this week.

Latos tore meniscus cartilage in his knee shortly before spring training when he slipped while throwing and required surgery on February 14. He hasn’t had any issues since the procedure and the Reds haven’t officially ruled him out for the start of the season, but he obviously can’t afford any setbacks at this point.

Latos, 26, posted a 3.16 ERA and 187/58 K/BB ratio over 210 2/3 innings last season. He’s also coming off October surgery remove bone chips from his throwing elbow.

Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.

Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.

The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.