Chris Snyder joins Nationals on minor league contract

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Injuries have derailed what was a pretty solid career for Chris Snyder and the 32-year-old catcher must not have drawn much interest as a free agent because Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that he signed a minor-league deal with the Nationals.

Washington was already facing a playing time crunch behind the plate with Kurt Suzuki and Wilson Ramos, so there isn’t much opportunity for Snyder to crack the roster and carve out a role unless Ramos struggles to come back from the knee injury that ended his 2012 season.

Snyder was the Diamondbacks’ starting catcher from 2005-2010, posting a .737 OPS in 556 games, but he’s hit just .195 for the Pirates and Astros during the past two-and-half seasons while struggling with back problems.

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.