Rangers add Hall to catching corps

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It sounded like the Rangers wanted a legitimate alternative starting catcher because of the lingering questions about the health of Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s shoulder. Instead, what they ended up with on Friday was Toby Hall.
Hall seemed to pretty much wreck his career when he opted to play through a torn labrum in 2007. He hit an abysmal .207/.225/.241 in 116 at-bats as A.J. Pierzynski’s backup for the White Sox that season. Still on a guaranteed contract, he followed it up by hitting .260/.304/.331 in 2008. He finally underwent the labrum surgery last February and spent the 2009 season rehabbing.
Hall was known far more for his offense than his defense as a prospect when he was coming up with the Rays. However, he never did meet expectations with the bat, and now that his shoulder isn’t what it used to be, he doesn’t belong in the majors at all. The Rangers should still be looking at a Salty-Taylor Teagarden duo for 2010.

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.