Denard Span’s collision at the plate with Royals catcher Brayan Pena didn’t look like much Friday night and he was able to play yesterday, but the Twins’ center fielder is now out of the lineup and will head back to Minnesota to have his dizziness examined.
Span chose to slide hard into Pena rather than reenact the Scott Cousins-Buster Posey incident by running the catcher over, yet even after avoiding a bigger collision he told reporters that he’s been “foggy” since and is “definitely scared.”
Span is the latest in a seemingly never-ending string of injured Twins, as Joe Mauer, Jim Thome, Jason Kubel, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Delmon Young, Francisco Liriano, Joe Nathan, Glen Perkins, Kevin Slowey, Jose Mijares, and Jason Repko have all spent at least one stint on the disabled list.
And one of the few regulars who hasn’t been on the shelf, Justin Morneau, has been in and out of the lineup with neck problems after spending eight months on the sidelines following a concussion. Similar to Morneau’s situation last year Span’s dizziness is particularly worrisome because he missed time with vertigo in 2009. He’s been the Twins’ best player all season.
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.