Cardinals “took the Rockies’ temperature” about trading Troy Tulowitzki

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There have been some rumors about the Cardinals being interested in Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, so in following up on that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch dropped an interesting tidbit into his live chat on the newspaper’s website today:

The Tulowitzki rumblings this morning are ripple effects from the winter meetings where the Cardinals, through the course of mapping the shortstop terrain for the coming season and winter, took the Colorado Rockies temperature regarding their franchise cornerstone. The dots are difficult not to connect. The Cardinals did it months ago.

Goold noted that Tulowitzki is owed a ton of money and the Rockies have a good shortstop prospect in Trevor Story, but it sounds like there isn’t a ton of fire behind the smoke. For now at least.

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.