Kurt Suzuki nearly ready to return to A's

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kurt suzuki headshot.jpgKurt Suzuki, who has been on the disabled list since April 24 with a strained rib cage, is expected to return to the A’s starting lineup on Wednesday, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Suzuki is a major part of the A’s offense and should provide a nice emotional boost for the 16-15 club upon his return.  Before rejoining his Oakland teammates, Kurt will likely head to Single-A Stockton or another minor league affiliate to work on his timing at the plate and reacquaint himself with crouching for nine full innings.  That should happen on Monday and Tuesday.

The 26-year-old catcher is a .271/.330/.403 hitter through his first three major league seasons.  He had an 852 OPS, four home runs and 11 RBI in 59 at-bats this year before the injury.

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.