According to the Associated Press, Joba Chamberlain has begun throwing off a half-mound as he continues his rehabilitation process from Tommy John surgery.
Yesterday’s throwing session took place at the Yankees’ minor league complex in Tampa, Florida. Chamberlain threw off a five-inch mound with Yankees’ pitching coach Larry Rothschild and team vice president Billy Connors in attendance.
Chamberlain posted a 2.83 ERA and 24/7 K/BB ratio over 28 2/3 innings before going under the knife last June. The 26-year-old right-hander was arbitration-eligible for the second time this winter and agreed to a one-year, $1.675 million contract with New York last month. Barring any setbacks, he should be back in the Yankees’ bullpen at some point during the first half of the season.
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.