Astros not happy Carlos Lee missed 'voluntary' workout

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Carlos Lee spent the All-Star break back home in Panama and missed yesterday’s team workout because of “an issue” with his return flight.
Technically it was a “voluntary” workout, but Bernardo Fallas of the Houston Chronicle notes that “the Astros were counting on everybody who had not played at the All-Star Game to be there” and general manager Ed Wade made no attempt to hide his disappointment with Lee’s no-show:

The workout was not mandatory, clubs are not allowed to make post-All-Star break workouts mandatory, but I’m still disappointed that he wasn’t there. It would have been respectful if he would have been there.

Fallas speculates that Lee won’t be in the starting lineup for tonight’s game against the Pirates, which is fair enough, but my guess is that the whole thing would have been much less of an issue if Lee wasn’t hitting .240 with by far the worst OPS of his career.

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.