Neftali Feliz still on track for Friday return to Rangers

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Texas closer Neftali Feliz is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Monday in front of the Rangers’ coaches and trainers in Oakland. If everything goes well, he will then make a single rehab appearance at one of the organization’s minor league affiliates before returning to the big league bullpen on Friday.

This all comes via Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, who adds that Feliz has already told the Rangers that his shoulder inflammation is gone and that he could begin facing major league hitters today if the team really needed him.

Wilson was placed on the disabled list in late April as a precautionary measure after complaining of mild soreness. He has opened the season with a 1.08 ERA over his first eight relief outings and has been successful on all five of his save opportunities.

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.