Leaderboard of the day: 2011 home runs/plate appearance

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Minimum two homers.  Eat your heart out, Jose Bautista.

Home runs per plate appearance:

1. Zach Duke (D-backs) – 2/15 – .133
2. Wily Mo Pena (D-backs) – 5/40 – .125
3. Jason Giambi (Rockies) – 9/93 – .097
4. Brandon Boggs (Brewers) – 2/22 – .091
5. Jose Bautista (Blue Jays) – 28/357 – .078
6. Lance Berkman (Cardinals) – 23/312 – .074
7. Nelson Cruz (Rangers) – 20/288 – .069
8. Adam Rosales (Athletics) – 2/29 – .069
9. Curtis Granderson (Yankees) – 25/371 – .067
10. Mark Teixeira (Yankees) – 25/372 – .067
11. Henry Blanco (D-backs) – 4/60 – .067
12. Mike Napoli (Rangers) – 11/172 – .064
13. Paul Konerko (White Sox) – 22/360 – .061
14. David Ross (Braves) – 4/66 – .061
15. Mark Reynolds (Orioles) – 20/331 – .060

The Diamondbacks dominate the list. Unfortunately, though, their three guys here have a total of 11 homers, which is about 40 percent of the way to Bautista’s total alone.

If I removed the two-homer requirement, the actual leader in home runs per plate appearances would be Brandon Guyer. He had one homer in three at-bats during a brief stint with the Rays earlier this season.

Anyway, I’ll admit this was just mostly an excuse to get Wily Mo’s name on the blog again.

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.