The Orioles can’t take much more Kevin Gregg

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If not for his contract, Kevin Gregg probably wouldn’t have lasted the spring in an Orioles uniform. Even as is, one wonders if he’ll survive the month of April.

Gregg allowed three runs in one-third of an inning of relief Sunday, walking two and hitting a batter in the process. He has a 12.86 ERA after three appearances, one of which was a loss to the Yankees.

The Orioles kept Gregg hoping they’d be able to dump a portion of his salary in a trade later this season, but the idea of a contender wanting the former closer appears to be a long shot at best. At this point, the Orioles would almost certainly be better off giving Pat Neshek a look in his place.

Gregg is in the second year of a two-year, $12 million deal he received after saving 37 games for the Blue Jays in 2010. He had a 4.37 ERA and 22 saves in 29 chances for the Orioles last year.

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.