Pirates designate Lyle Overbay for assignment after Derrek Lee trade

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Lyle Overbay got one last start at first base yesterday because Derrek Lee took his time reporting after the Pirates acquired him from the Orioles.

Overbay smacked a two-run homer, going deep for just the eighth time in 352 at-bats, and today the Pirates designated the 34-year-old for assignment.

He wasn’t worth Pittsburgh’s one-year, $5 million investment after showing signs of decline in Toronto last season, but Overbay might find a place on a contender’s roster as a left-handed bench bat. After all, he’s been landing starting jobs despite mediocre production for a decade now.

In fact, Overbay is one of the least productive first basemen in decades. He has a .793 OPS in 4,836 plate appearances. The only first basemen with a lower OPS in more plate appearances during the past 20 years are J.T. Snow and Eric Karros.

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.