Jaime Garcia could begin a rehab assignment next week

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From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch comes this:

Cardinals lefty Jaime Garcia faced hitters Tuesday in Jupiter, Fla., and he could one more workout away from a rehab assignment.

That final workout will happen Friday afternoon and will involve Garcia throwing around 45 pitches. If all goes smoothly, he should make his first rehab start late next week at one of the Cardinals’ Low-A affiliates in south Florida.

Garcia has been sidelined since early June because of a left shoulder strain. The 26-year-old native of Reynosa, Mexico had a pedestrian 4.48 ERA, 1.46 WHIP and 51/19 K/BB ratio in 66 1/3 innings before landing on the disabled list. He owns a cool 3.45 career ERA and 1.34 career WHIP.

Assuming no setbacks, Garcia will be back in the St. Louis starting rotation by mid-August.

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.