Here’s an odd one.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Diamondbacks are planning to call up veteran left-hander Mike Hampton from Triple-A Reno before Friday’s game.
Hampton signed a minor league contract with Arizona in late August and has made only four relief appearances at Triple-A Reno to some rather uninspiring results. Maybe the D’Backs are hoping that the spectacle of a washed-up, overpaid veteran will lead to a couple hundred bucks in extra ticket sales. Like a bull fight, or something.
Hampton, 37, hasn’t appeared in the majors since August of last season and posted a 5.30 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP in 21 total starts for the Astros over the course of 2009. The Diamondbacks’ bullpen has been bad, but has it really been let’s-promote-Mike Hampton bad?
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.