Dodgers to activate Chris Capuano, DL Mark Ellis

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The Dodgers will activate starter Chris Capuano from the disabled list before tonight’s game against the Diamondbacks, as Capuano opposes Trevor Cahill. In a related move, the Dodgers will place Mark Ellis on the disabled list retroactive to April 27 with a strained right quad, reports Dylan Hernandez.

Capuano went on the DL with a strained calf after an ugly April 16 start against the Padres in which he surrendered 5 runs in two innings. It was his first start of the season. Prior to that, he had two scoreless appearances of one and 1.2 innings out of the bullpen.

Ellis has not played since April 26. He is hitting .342 in 80 plate appearances.

In related news, Jerry Hairston Jr. limped off the field during an early workout today, testing his injured groin. He will likely join Ellis on the DL.

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.