Skip Schumaker defends Albert Pujols

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Skip Schumaker, who had some really scathing comments directed at drug cheats following the Biogenesis suspensions, has come to the defense of another player accused of PED use: former teammate Albert Pujols. Ken Rosenthal relays Schumaker’s comments:

“He’s the most honest guy I’ve ever been around,” Schumaker said. “He’s a solid human being, a solid Christian. What he says is the truth. I’m 100 percent behind Albert. Everyone who has played with him is 100 percent behind Albert. What Jack is doing is wrong.”

That’s admirable, and I agree with him that Clark’s accusations are wrong. But I’m not sure how anyone, a teammate included, could be so sure of such things. Just as it is nonsense to say someone is dirty because of their stat line, body composition and injury history it is wrong to say that someone is clean because they’re a “solid human being, solid Christian” or because they were a good teammate.

One thing and on thing only justifies us talking authoritatively about a player’s PED use: evidence of their PED use. That’s it.

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.