Minor scare down in the Dominican Winter League.
From ESPN’s Buster Olney comes word that Indians catcher Carlos Santana fouled a ball off his right leg — near the knee — during a game Saturday while playing for Leones del Escogido. He left with a limp, but Olney says trainers are “not concerned” at this point that he suffered any sort of serious injury.
We can probably just call it a right leg bruise.
Santana, 26, batted .252/.365/.420 with 18 home runs and 76 RBI over 609 plate appearances this summer for the fourth-place Tribe. He hit .239/.351/.457 with 27 home runs and 79 RBI in 2011.
The Dominican native underwent major surgery on his left knee in August 2010 after getting railroaded on a play at the plate by Red Sox outfielder Ryan Kalish. He made a full recovery from that procedure.
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.