It seemed like Jason Bay was pulling himself out of his funk before the All-Star break. He had good series against the Tigers, Yankees and the Dodgers, putting a little hitting streak together for a while, showing some pop and generally not looking moribund.
But the last series before the break against the Giants had him going 0 for 11, and then yesterday he took an 0 for 4, stranding runners and missing a fly ball in the eighth inning yesterday that led to a three-run inning for Philly. That led to the boo birds coming out in full force and, seemingly, has Bay back to square one. That little spark of optimism notwithstanding, he’s at .234/.322/.329. Meanwhile, Scott Hairston is on a hot stretch and even Willie Harris is starting to look like a viable alternative.
So the question is: how much longer does Bay get penciled in the lineup every day?
I don’t have an answer. But I think that’s the question everyone is going to be asking for the next few days in New York.
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.