The Indians originally hoped to have Grady Sizemore in their lineup by now, but the 29-year-old has encountered numerous setbacks following knee and back surgeries. While he was finally able to do some running earlier this month, ESPN’s Buster Olney passes along word that his progress has stalled once again.
The Indians surprised many by bringing Sizemore back on a one-year, $5 million deal during the offseason and now it appears they may get nothing for their investment.
Michael Brantley has at least emerged as a productive regular in center field, but 38-year-old Johnny Damon entered today’s action hitting just .221/.291/.349 with four home runs and a .641 OPS over 182 plate appearances. Of course, he’s also far from an ideal option defensively in left field. With Sizemore nowhere close to returning, the Indians figure to be in the mix to acquire an upgrade for their outfield in advance of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
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.