From the Mets’ official Twitter account comes word that the team agreed to terms on minor league contracts Wednesday evening with second baseman Brad Emaus and outfielder Fred Lewis.
Emaus was selected by the Mets in the 11th round of last December’s Rule 5 Draft and had a shot at claiming starting second base duties heading into the 2011 season. But that plan ultimately fell flat and he was eventually designated for assignment. The 26-year-old is doubtful to suddenly prove capable of handling a big league job.
Lewis, a 31-year-old speedster, was released by the Indians on April 2 after failing to win an Opening Day roster spot. Like Emaus, he will merely function as organizational depth this summer for New York.
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.