Rafael Furcal at least 25-30 days from returning to Dodgers

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Rafael Furcal got a platelet-rich plasma injection after being placed on the disabled list over the weekend with a strained oblique muscle suffered during a rundown and manager Don Mattingly told Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times that the shortstop is not expected back for 25-30 days.

Dee Gordon was called up from Triple-A to replace Furcal on the roster and the Dodgers seem committed to giving the 23-year-old prospect a lengthy look at shortstop that will probably last through the All-Star break.

As for Furcal, this will be the third time in four years that he’s missed a significant chunk of the season with injuries after missing 126 games in 2008 and 65 games in 2010. He’s played in just 17 of the Dodgers’ first 62 games this year and sounds likely to miss at least another month. Combined in those four seasons he’ll have earned $40 million.

Dodgers plan to tab Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of World Series

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MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers plan to tab ace Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of the World Series. Nothing is set in stone yet ahead of Tuesday’s Game 1 of the World Series. In the event Kershaw can’t start Game 1, Rich Hill would start. Otherwise, Hill would start Game 4.

Kershaw, started Game 1 and Game 5 of the NLCS against the Brewers, then closed out Game 7 with a flawless inning. He was hit around to the tune of five runs (four earned) over three-plus innings in Game 1, but rebounded for seven innings of one-run ball in Game 5. He struck out two en route to sending the Dodgers to the World Series in the ninth inning of Game 7.

Kershaw also tossed eight shutout innings against the Braves in Game 2 of the NLDS. Overall, he has a 2.37 ERA in 19 innings this postseason. There was no doubt who would be the Dodgers’ first choice to start Game 1, but it’s a relatively recent situation where the ace of a team also closed out the final game of the previous series.

Hill has put up a 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings this postseason. While he doesn’t have Kershaw’s pedigree, the Dodgers would be confident having him lead off the series. Hill was excellent down the stretch last year, helping the Dodgers reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Astros.

The Red Sox plan to start Chris Sale in Game 1 now that he’s recovered from a brief stint in the hospital due to a stomach ailment. The lefty has a 3.48 in 10 1/3 innings in the playoffs this year. He’s among a handful of candidates for the AL Cy Young award after posting a 2.11 ERA in the regular season, but his lack of innings (158) may hurt him.