Stolen base king Billy Hamilton victim of armed robbery

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Reds prospect Billy Hamilton, also known as the fastest man in baseball, was the victim of an armed robbery yesterday while in Winston Salem for the California League-Carolina League All-Star game.

Hamilton, who’s hitting .322 with an amazing 80 stolen bases in 66 games at high Single-A, was allegedly robbed by two men wielding a hand gun around midnight.

And according to WXII12.com minutes later an umpire working the All-Star game was also robbed on the same street, presumably by the same two men.

If this were a movie, of course, the robber would snatch Hamilton’s wallet and start running, at which point Hamilton would give him like a five-minute head start while twiddling his thumbs. And then chase him down with ease. Unfortunately the presence of a gun–and Hamilton being smarter than a movie script–kind of ruled that out.

Alanis Morissette would call this whole story ironic. Oh, and Hamilton had two stolen bases and was named MVP of the All-Star game. Obviously.

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.