Why can't Matt Murton find a job?

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Yesterday the Rockies became the third team in two years to give up on outfielder Matt Murton, designating him for assignment in order to clear a roster spot for washed-up reliever Juan Rincon and his 5.45 ERA over the past three seasons.
Murton turns 28 years old in a couple months, but has gotten more than 275 plate appearances in a season exactly once, back in 2006 with the Cubs. He hit .297 with a .365 on-base percentage and .444 slugging percentage that year, yet in the three seasons since then he’s received a grand total of 383 plate appearances for three different teams.
Given all the bouncing around that he’s done recently you might assume that Murton is pretty useless, but that’s hardly the case. He’s a career .287/.353/.438 hitter in 339 games as a major leaguer, has hit .312/.388/.469 in 220 games at Triple-A, and grades out as an asset defensively in either outfield corner according to Ultimate Zone Rating.
He’s certainly never going to be a star or perhaps even a strong everyday player, but Murton is better and more useful than dozens of guys who’ve had permanent homes on MLB rosters for the past few seasons and would make an excellent platoon starter against left-handed pitching if given an extended opportunity.
Against southpaws he’s batted .306/.374/.483 in 390 plate appearances in the majors and .335/.410/.536 in 400 plate appearances between Double-A and Triple-A, which alone makes him worthy of a roster spot. Toss in the fact that he’s still relatively young, very cheap, and available for absolutely nothing, and … well, it’ll be a shame if Murton clears waivers and heads back to Triple-A again.

Clayton Kershaw might return to the Dodgers’ rotation next week

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Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.

Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.

Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.