Danny Duffy to miss Friday start with elbow tightness

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Royals left-hander Danny Duffy has been scratched from his scheduled Friday start because of what the team is calling “minor elbow tightness.”

Duffy described the injury as “not bad at all” and told Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star that “I want to pitch, but I appreciate the care they’re showing me in this situation.”

For now Duffy will avoid the disabled list and has been penciled in to start next week versus the Tigers, but obviously elbow issues for a 23-year-old pitcher are worth being worried about.

Duffy, who ranked 68th on Baseball America‘s annual prospect list prior to debuting for the Royals last season, has a 3.63 ERA and 20/12 K/BB ratio in 17 innings this 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.