Hideki Matsui, upon arriving back in Japan:
“I’d like to prove I can play defense at spring training. It will be
difficult to play defense every day like in the past, but I’d like to
reach the point where I can play defense once every few games.”
Matsui played no defense last season. He played 24 games in the outfield in 2008. When he did, he was really, really bad. Like Adam Dunn bad.
This is not happening. The Angels signed Matsui to be a DH. If he plays a single game in the outfield next year that does not involve at least one mistake on the manager’s card and a big case of quick-onset food poisoning in the Angels’ clubhouse, I’ll eat my hat.
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.