Carlos Quentin to resume rehab assignment Friday

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Carlos Quentin embarked on a minor league rehab assignment earlier this month, but he was shut down after experiencing soreness in his surgically-repaired right knee. Now he’s ready to give it another shot.

According to Corey Brock of MLB.com, Padres manager Bud Black said that Quentin will join High-A Lake Elsinore tomorrow. He got the go-ahead after playing three games in extended spring training earlier this week, twice in the field and once as the designated hitter.

“Now he feels good in his stance, and we think the time off gave him what he needed,” Black said. “It’s very encouraging how he’s feeling right now.”

Quentin, who was acquired from White Sox at the end of December, underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on March 19. The San Diego native had 21 at-bats in the minors before his setback, but it’s not clear how many at-bats he’ll need this time around before making his Padres’ debut.

While Quentin will almost certainly miss hitting in U.S. Cellular Field, he should provide a nice boost for an offense which entered play tonight dead-last in the majors with 17 home runs. The 29-year-old outfielder is due to hit free agency this offseason and while there was some brief talk about a possible contract extension, he figures to be trade bait for the rebuilding Padres.

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.