Last week I talked about Gary Sheffield prowling the Winter Meetings. Today we learn that he met with Joe Maddon to talk more about his comeback that probably isn’t happening:
“I had a meeting with the Rays, and they’re going to get back to me,” Sheffield said Monday on Sirius XM Radio. “It’s out there now that they’re talking to me and hopefully something comes about.”
“They said they had my resume on file,” Sheffield did not add. “I really think I impressed Mr. Maddon. I totally nailed that question about where I saw myself in five years. And I made sure to ask questions.”
Sources close to the Rays report that Evan Longoria and B.J. Upton are not actually part of the hiring committee considering Sheffield’s candidacy, but went along on the lunch interview because “hey, free lunch.”
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.