Cubs interview Rays bench coach Dave Martinez for manager job

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Confirming reports from earlier this week, Carrie Muskat of MLB.com passes along word that the Cubs interviewed Rays bench coach Dave Martinez for their managerial vacancy today.

Martinez has been the bench coach for Tampa Bay for the past six seasons and has interviewed for manager jobs with the Indians, Blue Jays, and Astros in the past. Getting the Cubs’ job would take him full circle, as he was originally signed by the club and made his major league debut there in 1986.

The Cubs have already interviewed Padres bench coach Rick Renteria, former Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch, and former Indians and Nationals manager Manny Acta. It’s not known whether the club will add more names to the mix after Martinez.

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.