Adam Dunn just did it again.
The resurgent slugger connected for a solo blast off right-hander Felipe Paulino in the bottom of the first inning tonight against the Royals. With that, he already has 11 home runs through 139 plate appearances this year after hitting just 11 over 496 plate appearances during his miserable first season with the Pale Hose.
Dunn is still striking out at a ridiculous pace, but only Josh Hamilton (15) and Matt Kemp (12) have hit more home runs so far this season. Curtis Granderson is also currently sitting at 11 home runs. Looks like we have ourselves an early candidate for comeback player of the year.
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.