Josh Collmenter to open season in Diamondbacks’ starting rotation

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2011 first-round pick Trevor Bauer has stolen the show in Diamondbacks’ camp, posting a 2.57 ERA and 7/1 K/BB ratio over seven innings during Cactus League action. We’ve heard multiple reports recently that the 21-year-old right-hander was being seriously considered for a spot in the starting rotation, but it appears his major league debut will have to wait.

Jack Magruder of FOXSportsArizona.com reports that Josh Collmenter will begin the season in the rotation. This comes on the heels of Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM reporting yesterday that the D-Backs are discussing moving Collmenter to the bullpen once one of their young starters is ready.

Collmenter had a 3.38 ERA and 100/28 K/BB ratio over 154 1/3 innings last season as a rookie. While his control was excellent throughout, the 26-year-old right-hander had a 4.42 ERA over his final 18 starts. And while it was deemed minor, he was scratched from a scheduled appearance last week to forearm tightness. His spot appears safe for now, but Bauer and fellow top prospect Tyler Skaggs will be nipping at his heels if he gets off to a slow start.

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.