Stephen Strasburg could be making rehab starts next month

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Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post writes today that it’s “feasible” that Stephen Strasburg could make a minor league rehab start by mid-August.

The rehab seems like it’s going swimmingly. He has already thrown fastballs with full violence and anger and is slipping the bender in there as well.

While there’s a chance he could be pitching in real games before the year is out, I still think I’d err on the side of keeping him in practice settings, given that nothing is likely to be won or lost based on his presence this year. And even if there’s a chance of it, there is way too much to be risked by having Strasburg pitch too soon.

By the way, don’t you love that pic of Strasburg?  Reminds me of the Rolling Stones’ “Hot Rocks” album cover. Or maybe Dylan’s Greatest Hits.

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.