Mariners officially release Jon Garland

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The Mariners, auditioning more than a handful of players for spots at the back of the starting rotation, announced yesterday they would not be giving one of those valuable spots to veteran right-hander Jon Garland. His release was a mere formality. Per the team’s official Twitter, they also released former power threat Mike Jacobs:

There will be some interest in Garland by teams with rotation problems of their own. For example, Troy Renck tweeted about the Rockies’ “lukewarm” interest, but were not convinced he can stay healthy for an entire season.

Garland last pitched in the Majors in 2011, racking up just 54 innings before succumbing to a right shoulder injury which required surgery.

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.