The Nationals dropped the series opener against the Yankees last night in D.C., but they remain one of the most interesting stories in baseball this season.
Adam LaRoche has played a big part in the Nationals’ early success, hitting .261 with 11 homers, 42 RBI and an .848 OPS through 56 games after being limited to just 43 games last year due to shoulder surgery.
The veteran first baseman made an appearance on NBC Sports Talk last night, where he talked about what he sees in 19-year-old rookie Bryce Harper, the possibility of playing in the postseason and whether the Nationals should shut down Stephen Strasburg if they are making a run. It’s not too hard to guess what he thinks about that last one.
This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
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.