Gammons: White Sox to sign Orlando Hudson

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From Peter Gammons of MLB Network comes word that veteran second baseman Orlando Hudson has agreed to a contract (presumably of the non-guaranteed minor league variety) with the White Sox.

Hudson was released by the Padres on Thursday after batting just .211/.260/.317 with one home run and 11 RBI through his first 131 plate appearances.

The Pale Hose will work Hudson into the mix at second base, where 25-year-old Gordon Beckham has struggled to provide consistent production since his breakout rookie season back in 2009.

Hudson, 34, is a .276/.343/.415 career hitter but is well beyond his prime and seems doubtful to be a significant upgrade for Chicago. The Padres are still on the hook for his $5.5 million salary.

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.