Hey look, a Hank Steinbrenner sighting

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Hank Steinbrenner.jpgAll of the Yankees brass is in the far east on a goodwill tour, leaving Hank Steinbrenner back home to mind the store.  A reporter caught up with him, no doubt hoping that with his minders away Hank would revert to 2008 form and bring the crazy.  Take it away Hankenstein!

“The two trades that Brian did, I was really pleased with and very proud of,” Steinbrenner said. “I think that is going to make a big difference for us.”

Steinbrenner was particularly supportive of the deal for Vazquez, in which the Yankees gave up Melky Cabrera and minor league pitchers Mike Dunn and Arodys Vizcaino. The general partner and co-chairman of the Yankees believes that the acquisition of Vazquez was more critical toward defending their championship than not bringing back Johnny Damon or Hideki Matsui.

“We needed another top-notch starter and got one,” said Steinbrenner.

He also said that Derek Jeter is a good baseball player and is important to the Yankees and everything. He probably also said that the sky was blue, water is wet and cornbread is tasty.

In other words, it appears as though Hal left his brother with enough medication to last until he returns. A shame, really. I miss the old Hank.

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.