Magglio Ordonez “almost hung it up” after terrible first half

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Magglio Ordonez told Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com that he considered retiring around midseason after hitting .217 in the first half while struggling through soreness in his surgically repaired ankle.

“I almost hung it up,” Ordonez said. “When I was playing, I didn’t enjoy the game and I play with my heart.”

Ordonez also plays with his bat and he didn’t exactly thrive in the second half, hitting .292 with two homers and a measly .362 slugging percentage. However, he hit very well in September and is now playing every day in the playoffs thanks to Brennan Boesch’s thumb injury.

Ordonez compared himself to a car, saying “when you have a flat tire it’s hard for it to run” but “now the tire has a lot of air in it.” He earned $10 million this season while missing 70 games and hitting just .255 with a .634 OPS, but Ordonez is batting sixth tonight against the Yankees after going 3-for-3 in Game 2.

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.