FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Blue Jays are “close” to signing reliever Kevin Gregg. Last week manager Cito Gaston was asked about the Blue Jays’ closer situation and replied:
We have a couple of guys that can close, [Scott] Downs, [Jason] Frasor. But we’re going to kind of throw that up in the air. And who knows? We might even be lucky enough to bring somebody else in that can help out, too. It’s going to be between those two and anybody else that [general manager] Alex Anthopoulos brings into camp.
Along those same lines Gregg’s agent said previously that the 32-year-old right-hander was looking for a place where he’d have a chance to close, so Toronto is probably the best fit.
Over the past three seasons Gregg has blown 20 saves in 104 chances while posting a 3.86 ERA with 107 walks in 221.1 innings, so he’s hardly anyone’s idea of an ideal closer. However, the same is true of Jason Frasor and Scott Downs, and if nothing else adding Gregg gives the Blue Jays another setup-caliber reliever to work into the mix.
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.