The Bronx Bombers have been relatively quiet since baseball’s free agency period began. That is, unless you ask third baseman Alex Rodriguez:
“The Yankees made two big moves this offseason,” Rodriguez told the New York Post by phone. “Keeping CC (Sabathia), and I expect to be who I have been in the past.”
(Quote comes via the Post‘s Joel Sherman)
Rodriguez batted just .276/.362/.461 in 428 plate appearances this year, registering an OPS under .830 for the first time since 1995. He can blame most of that disappointment on a mid-season knee injury, however, and he’s confident that a healthy winter will help him bounce back in 2012.
A-Rod has already begun his offseason workout program in Miami, three weeks earlier than usual.
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.