“Rival executives” believe Fredi Gonzalez is on the hot seat

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Those Rival Executives. Always taunting me like this. Rosenthal, after reminding us that the Braves are 1-10 this spring, reports:

Gonzalez, unlike the Boston Red Sox’s Terry Francona, survived his team’s collapse, in large part because the Braves value stability.

A poor start, though, could alter the equation. Rival executives believe that Gonzalez, entering the second year of a three-year contract, already is on probation.

I’m not going to get my hopes up that my least favorite Braves manager in many years might get canned. Because the thing about the Braves I dislike even more than Fredi is its corporate ownership. And the Braves’ corporate ownership likely wouldn’t approve getting rid of Gonzalez if it meant having to pay two managers at once. Would mess up the ledger that someone spent a good bit of time making look all neat.

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.