Clayton Kershaw skips bullpen session due to stiff back

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Much like Giants ace Tim Lincecum, Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw has experienced back stiffness following his first couple of workouts in spring camp.

Also like Lincecum, who was able play to play catch Wednesday, Kershaw’s issue is thought to be minor.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly told MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick that Kershaw’s scheduled Wednesday bullpen session was cancelled, but only because the team can afford to be extra cautious this early in the spring:

“He’s been around for a while,” Mattingly said in Glendale, Arizona. “We know he’s young and he’s thrown a lot of innings and we won’t do anything to jeopardize him.”

Kershaw should be back on his normal routine by the weekend. He has already been named the Dodgers’ Opening Day starter and is not scheduled to appear in a Cactus League game until March 9. The 2011 NL Cy Young Award winner posted a dominant 2.28 ERA and 0.98 WHIP in 233 1/3 innings last season.

Blake Wood has a damaged UCL

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Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports that Angels reliever Blake Wood underwent an MRI and was diagnosed with a damaged ulnar collateral ligament. Wood will seek further opinions before a course of treatment is decided. Tommy John surgery is a possibility.

Wood, 32, had been on a rehab assignment with High-A Inland Empire and has been on the disabled list since April 22. Prior to the injury, Wood compiled a 2.31 ERA with a 10/7 K/BB ratio in 11 2/3 innings.

Keynan Middleton recently underwent Tommy John surgery to repair a damaged UCL, so it’s not been a great time to be a member of the Angels’ bullpen.