Carl Crawford lands on disabled list, Yasiel Puig batting leadoff in major league debut

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Lots of movement for the last-place Dodgers as they prepare to begin a three-game series tonight against the Padres.

Carl Crawford, who suffered a strained right hamstring on Saturday, has officially landed on the 15-day disabled list. The move clears a spot for right-hander Stephen Fife on the active roster. Fife will make the start tonight after left-hander Chris Capuano had to be scratched due to a strained triceps muscle.

Oh, but that’s not all. Yasiel Puig, who was called up from Double-A Chattanooga yesterday, will make his major league debut tonight in right field. And the Dodgers aren’t easing him into things. He’s batting leadoff. With Puig in right field, Andre Ethier will make his second start in center field in the past week.

Eric Stephen of the excellent True Blue LA notes that the last Dodger to start out of the leadoff spot in his MLB debut was Jose Offerman on August 19, 1990. He homered in his first at-bat. No pressure or anything.

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.