Slate’s Josh Levin has surveyed the experts, and it’s pretty clear: if you want to really know what you’ve got in a young prospect, you gotta inspect his butt. The scouts’ consensus: if you have a flat butt, you’re just not gonna make it in this game because it means that you’ll never fill out and get strong like a big leaguer needs to do.
As the blog Nerd Baseball notes, former Yankees, Dbacks and Rangers manager Buck Showalter may be on the bleeding edge of butt-scouting. “You don’t see a lot of good power hitters or good pitchers that
generate arm speed that don’t have a good, high butt on them,” Showalter said. And he thinks Derek Lee is close to the ideal. “I don’t want to say he’s got a perfect butt, but when I look at it I
say, Wow.” As do we all, Buck. As do we all.
And not that you asked, but I’ve got a really flat butt. Going forward, I’m going to assume that it — and not my lack of hand-eye coordination, speed, instincts, and upper body strength — is the reason why I never made it past the Babe Ruth league.
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.