The club with baseball’s best record just got a little strong: the Dodgers activated Matt Kemp from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday.
Kemp, the NL MVP runner-up in 2011, was off to a torrid start this season before suffering a strained left hamstring. Fortunately, he missed the minimum 15 days, and he’ll now have a chance to get back to work on his incredible .359/.446/.727 line. He’s homered 12 times in 117 at-bats this season.
Going back to Triple-A to make room for Kemp on the roster is 24-year-old Jerry Sands. Given five starts against lefties during Kemp’s absence, he went 4-for-20 with two doubles and an 8/1 K/BB ratio.
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.