The Orioles celebrated a walkoff victory over the Tigers on Saturday, but they’re struggling to cling to an American League Wild Card spot and could be without one of their best starters for a while.
Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun writes that Jason Hammel has cartilage “floating” in his right knee that gives him pain whenever he tries a bending motion. He’ll need surgery to fully relieve it, and the rehab for such a procedure takes at least seven weeks.
Hammel will sleep on it, weighing whether to try and pitch through the discomfort. He’s going to be placed on the 15-day disabled list before the Orioles close out their three-game set Sunday against the Tigers.
25-year-old left-hander Brian Matusz will likely get another crack at the starting rotation no matter what Hammel decides to do. He has a 5.42 ERA, 1.71 WHIP and 62/38 K/BB ratio in 84 2/3 innings this season.
SUNDAY, 11:31 AM: Connolly reports that Hammel is indeed having the surgery, but it’s of the arthroscopic variety and he might miss only four weeks. Still, it’s certainly a tough blow to the fading O’s.
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.