Clayton Kershaw throws three simulated innings, rehab assignment could be next

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Via Eric Stephen of SB Nation’s True Blue LA:

LOS ANGELES — Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw threw 51 pitches in a simulated game at maximum effort and with no restrictions on Sunday at Dodger Stadium before the series finale against the Diamondbacks.

Kershaw was touching 90 mph with his fastball and reported no discomfort in his back or shoulder. “It’s full effort for me,” the ace left-hander told reporters. “You can’t simulate the adrenaline of a big league game, that’s where you get your extra velocity from. But for a 10 a.m. sim game, that’s pretty much all I got.”

Kershaw said the next step in his rehabilitation process could be a minor league rehab assignment, but no official decision will be made on that front until the Dodgers see how feels Monday morning.

The 26-year-old has been on the disabled list since March 29 with a teres major muscle strain. He has only made one start this season, and it was on March 22 at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Australia.

Cubs place Ben Zobrist on 10-day disabled list with back soreness

Ben Zobrist
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Cubs infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with back soreness. The move is retroactive to April 14. While it doesn’t appear to be the precursor to any serious injury, Zobrist has already missed six straight days of activity after feeling his back tighten up last weekend. Should he see the minimum time on the DL, as expected, he’ll be eligible to return by the start of the Cubs’ series against the Indians on Tuesday.

Prior to his injury, the 36-year-old outfielder raked an impressive .326/.408/.465 with three extra-base hits in 49 plate appearances. He last appeared for the Cubs during their homestand last weekend and helped propel the team to a 14-10 win over the Braves with three hits, two walks and two RBI. Provided that he can remain healthy going forward, it’s a promising start for the veteran outfielder, who has yet to return to the All-Star-worthy numbers he posted with the club in 2016.

With Zobrist sidelined for the time being, Ian Happ and Albert Almora Jr. have shared the leadoff spot and center field duties over the last week. Happ went 0-for-8 with six strikeouts in two games before passing the baton to Almora, who collected five hits and two RBI in 11 at-bats.