Report: Tigers interested in Angels’ infielder Maicer Izturis

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While the Tigers continue to express interest in a trade for Atlanta’s Martin Prado, they have identified a Plan B. According to Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, it’s Maicer Izturis of the Angels.

The Tigers are currently looking for upgrades at second base, third base and the leadoff spot, so while Izturis isn’t quite on the level of Prado, he at least has experience in those areas.

Izturis, 31, batted .276/.334/.388 with five home runs, 38 RBI, nine stolen bases and a .722 OPS over 494 plate appearances this season while splitting time between second base, third base and shortstop. The switch-hitter is owed $3.8 million in 2012 in the final year of a three-year, $10 million contract.

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.