According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Brewers have signed infielder Brooks Conrad to a minor league contract. He’ll compete for a utility infielder job during spring training.
Conrad, who turns 32 later this month, batted .223/.325/.388 with four home runs, 13 RBI and a .713 OPS over 122 plate appearances with the Braves last season. He functioned mostly as a right-handed bat off the bench, but also made five starts at second base and seven at the hot corner. He became a free agent after the Braves non-tendered him last month.
Conrad had a knack for some pretty big hits during his time with Atlanta, but also made some key fielding errors and owns an ugly 29 percent strikeout rate in the big leagues.
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.