Jon Heyman of SI.com tweets that the Cardinals are Rockies are among the teams interested in free agent second baseman Felipe Lopez.
Lopez, who turns 30 in May, has been overshadowed by Orlando Hudson of late, but is coming off a season in which he batted .310/.383/.427 with nine home runs, 57 RBI and 88 runs scored with the Diamondbacks and Brewers. Though Hudson won the Gold Glove, Lopez outperformed him in UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating). And as I compiled in November, Lopez ranked fourth among free agents in WAR (Wins Above Replacement) last season.
Lopez doesn’t have the reputation of Hudson, but he is nearly three years younger and with the ability to play shortstop, third base and the outfield, he’s far more versatile. Whoever signs him will have a found a nice bargain.
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.