Five years ago today: Jered Weaver debuts for Angels

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May 27, 2006

Filling in for an ailing Bartolo Colon, 2004 first-round pick Jered Weaver makes his major league debut for the Angels and shuts out the Orioles for seven innings to earn a win.  He allows three hits, walks one and strikes out five in a 10-1 victory.

Weaver went on to open his major league career 4-0 with a 1.37 ERA, but the Angels still chose to send him down when Colon came off the DL on June 18.  The alternative would have been to demote his brother, Jeff, who was the team’s weakest starter at the time.

The Angels did make that switch a couple of weeks later, recalling Jered to replace Jeff on July 3.  Weaver won three more starts in a row afterwards, opening his career 7-0 with a 1.15 ERA before taking his first no-decision on July 29 against the Red Sox.  He was 9-0 through 12 starts before finally losing for the first time, and it was a cheap loss, too, as he gave up just one run over six innings against Boston in a game the Angels dropped 2-1.

Weaver ended his season 11-2 with a 2.56 ERA, but he finished a mere fifth in the ROY balloting in what was a very strong year for AL rookies.  Justin Verlander won the award with a 17-9 record,  Jonathan Papelbon finished second with his 0.92 ERA and 35 saves and Francisco Liriano came in third place with a 12-3 record and a 2.16 ERA.

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.