If all goes according to plan, the Reds will have their starting catcher and fill-in closer on the roster early next week.
According to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Reds manager Bryan Price said today that catcher Devin Mesoraco is on track to be activated from the disabled list on Monday or Tuesday. The 25-year-old backstop suffered an oblique injury toward the end of spring training, but he has made it through two minor league rehab games with Double-A Pensacola without incident.
As for Broxton, he is expected to be activated on Tuesday. The veteran right-hander began the year on the disabled list following forearm surgery last August, but he struck out two over a scoreless inning last night in Double-A. Despite putting up a mediocre 4.11 ERA and 25/12 K/BB ratio over 30 2/3 innings last season when healthy, Broxton is expected to be used in the closer role until Aroldis Chapman is ready to return.
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.