As D.J. said last night, the Mets announced their second round of interviews, and they include Terry Collins, Bob Melvin, Chip Hale and Wally Backman. But Joel Sherman is throwing cold water on the notion that this is truly a four-man race:
I guess Hale, in particular, has a chance to throw a Hail Mary and get the job. But this is as close to a rigged event as possible with Collins as the favorite and Melvin as a very in-the-competition second choice.
Sherman also notes that, while Backman and Hale are coming back for second interviews, in some ways it’s just an extension of his first because “his two main new assistants, Paul DePodesta and J.P. Ricciardi, were not yet on board” when those two were first interviewed. In contrast, DePodesta and Ricciardi were both involved in earlier discussions with Melvin and Collins.
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.