Troubling news Wednesday out of Cardinals camp.
Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that Peter Bourjos has been held out of Grapefruit League action since Sunday because of what’s being called a “tight leg.” Bourjos has already been ruled out for Thursday’s Grapefruit League tilt with the Twins and it’s not clear when he might be cleared to return.
Bourjos dealt with chronic hamstring issues at the end of his tenure with the Angels. And his game, which is very defense and speed oriented, relies heavily on his legs being in good health. So this situation is more worrisome than a typical complaint of early-spring soreness.
The Cardinals acquired Bourjos and outfield prospect Randal Grichuk this winter from the Angels for third baseman David Freese and right-hander Fernando Salas. Bourjos is expected to serve as the primary center fielder this year in St. Louis. Jon Jay, a far weaker defender, is the Cards’ current backup option.
Top prospect Oscar Taveras is still working to return to full strength from last year’s ankle surgery.
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.