Kevin Millwood’s chances of being called up by the Red Sox improved with the news that Daisuke Matszuaka will likely undergo season-ending elbow surgery, but the veteran right-hander couldn’t make it out of the third inning last night in his first Triple-A start for Boston.
Millwood, who signed a minor-league deal with the Red Sox last month after being released by the Yankees, allowed four runs on five hits and two walks before exiting with two outs in the second inning.
Prior to being released by the Yankees he also gave up eight runs in nine innings during two Triple-A starts and reports on his fastball velocity weren’t encouraging, which combined with last season’s 4-16 record and 5.10 ERA in 191 innings for the Orioles suggests that Millwood may simply be finished at age 36.
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.