Reds re-sign Ramon Hernandez to one-year contract

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The Reds have re-signed catcher Ramon Hernandez to a one-year contract, according to the team’s Twitter feed. Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that the contract is “thought to be worth” around $3 million.

Hernandez, 34, batted .297/.364/.428 with seven homers, 48 RBI and a 792 OPS this past season, while throwing out 34 percent (18-for-53) of would-be basestealers. He batted .311 with an 825 OPS in 132 at-bats after the All-Star break.

Along with Ryan Hanigan, Reds’ catchers led the National League this past season in batting average (.296) and hits (168) while finishing second in RBI (91) and third in on-base percentage (.375) and OPS (804).

Hanigan has rightly surpassed Hernandez as the everyday catcher at this point, so he’ll probably have the larger responsibility of a time share, but there’s plenty of reason to believe they’ll continue to be one of the best catching tandems in baseball next season.

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.