Phillies’ deal with Astros for Wilton Lopez falls apart after physical exam

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UPDATE: Todd Zolecki of MLB.com now says the Phillies’ trade for Lopez “hit a roadblock and is unlikely to happen” despite being agreed upon pending a physical exam yesterday. Sure sounds like the doctor saw something worrisome in Lopez’s elbow.

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Yesterday the Phillies were reportedly on the verge of trading for Astros reliever Wilton Lopez and the 29-year-old right-hander was actually in Philadelphia taking a physical exam, but now the deal might be on hold.

Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that the trade “appeared to stagnate” and speculates that perhaps the Phillies saw something they didn’t like after examining Lopez’s elbow, which sidelined him briefly this year.

There’s also been some speculation that another team or two jumped into the mix late in an effort to top the Phillies’ offer. As for where the trade stands at this point, that’s unclear, but Salisbury suggests it’s still a possibility.

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.