Yankees release Juan Rivera, will keep Lyle Overbay

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It’s not a good sign when a team that’s wrecked by injuries and looking everywhere for lineup help decides you’re not worth keeping around, but that’s exactly what just happened to Juan Rivera.

Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Yankees have released Rivera, who signed a minor-league contract in late January.

New York has added Brennan Boesch, Vernon Wells, and Lyle Overbay since signing Rivera, but there was still a place for him if they thought he could hit. At age 34 that’s in serious question, as Rivera batted just .244 with a .661 OPS in 109 games for the Dodgers last season and hasn’t topped a .750 OPS since 2009.

Overbay looks likely to be the Opening Day first baseman now, being handed the starting job three days after signing with the Yankees.

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.