Matt Moore sidelined by lower abdominal strain

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Matt Moore was slated to throw batting practice this morning, but instead the 22-year-old phenom will be out for at least a couple days with what the Rays are calling a “lower abdominal strain.”

Moore described the injury as “like a sore muscle … basically right below my belly button” and said sitting things out is merely precautionary this early in camp, but the strain has apparently bothered him since throwing Friday.

He was able to play catch on both Saturday and Sunday, and for now is hoping to take his next scheduled batting practice turn Wednesday. Moore was also quick to say that it’s not an oblique strain, which is definitely good news given how long those can linger.

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.