UPDATE: We have some more details about today’s extended spring training game.
Eddie Michaels of the Philadelphia Daily News reports that Utley was able to beat out a throw on a single while David Hale of the Wilmington News Journal adds that he played four innings in the field.
“It felt pretty good just to get back out between the lines,” Utley said. “So far so good and we’ll see how it (right knee) responds tomorrow and go from there.”
1:45 PM: Yes, this is another extended spring training tidbit, but I promise it’s a good one.
According to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com, Chase Utley played in his first extended spring training game this morning in Dunedin, Florida and went 5-for-7 with two home runs.
Of course, Utley has been able to take batting practice without any issues throughout this entire process, so his success at the plate shouldn’t be a huge surprise. I’m more interested to learn if he played in the field and how he felt running the bases.
More to follow.
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.