As expected, the Nationals have decided to stick with Davey Johnson as manager.
General manager Mike Rizzo went through the interview process with other candidates, but various reports pegged Johnson as the man for the job for weeks now and the Nationals simply held off making things official until after the World Series.
Rizzo said in a statement that “it became obvious that the Nationals would be best served” with Johnson, who managed the team to a 40-43 record after taking over at midseason following Jim Riggleman’s sudden exit. At the time Riggleman stepped down the Nationals were 38-37.
Johnson is the oldest manager in baseball at age 69 and took more than a decade off from managing after leaving the Dodgers in 2000, but his contract also includes a team option for 2013.
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.