Break between series gave Matt Holliday time to get healthy

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Matt Holliday has been limited by a hand injury throughout the postseason, but the Cardinals left fielder told Matthew Leach of MLB.com that the time off between the NLCS and World Series has allowed him to get much healthier.

“I feel pretty good about where I’m at,” Holliday told Leach. “I think [the off days] have been beneficial to everybody. One playoff game is similar to playing four regular season games just as far as how taxing mentally and physically they can be.”

Holliday was out of the starting lineup for the Cardinals’ first three playoff games, but has started all eight games since then while going 11-for-30 (.367) with one homer, two doubles, and five RBIs.

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.