In an ideal world, A.J. Pierzynski would like to play for the Braves

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As a Braves fan, I’m not sure how I feel about this. From Dan Hayes at CSNChicago.com on free agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski:

“In a perfect situation, if there were no other deciding factors (money, another catcher), my ideal situation would be to play for the Braves,” Pierzynski said. “I grew up a Braves fan. That would be ideal, but with Brian McCann I don’t think it’s going to happen.”

I appreciate Pierzynski’s merits as a player and I think he probably gets way too much crap thrown at him for his attitude and character and stuff than is deserved. He’s had some incidents, but his teammates have almost always had his back which makes me think the “Pierzynski is a jerk” stuff is way overblown. But it also has never occurred to me that he and I would have similar rooting interests. I just … don’t know, man.

Guess it’s not that bad though. Especially when compared to the non-trivial possibility that Shane Victorino could actually be patrolling center field for Atlanta next year.

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.