I often lament the lack of interesting nicknames in baseball compared to decades ago, so this note from Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post makes me very happy:
Drew Storen overmatched all thee hitters he faced, striking out two and getting a ground ball using only 11 pitches. Afterward, [manager Davey] Johnson coined a nickname for Storen based his proclivity for toying with his delivery.
“I’m going to start calling him Tinkerbell,” Johnson said. “He comes in with all kinds of different little moves. Once the game started, he looked good.”
Odds are that nickname has absolutely zero chance of sticking, but once upon a time in baseball history “Tinkerbell Storen” would be a viable thing to call a pitcher and … well, I think we’d all be better off if things were a little more like that again. All except the guy being called Tinkerbell, of course.
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.