Nationals not interested in Dusty Baker

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Last week when Dusty Baker revealed that he’d contacted the Nationals about replacing Davey Johnson as manager Craig Calcaterra speculated that general manager Mike Rizzo wouldn’t be interested because he’s looking for a non-veteran skipper.

Sure enough, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post now reports that the Nationals “have not reciprocated interest” and Baker is “not expected to be a manager candidate.”

Washington is bringing in plenty of potential candidates for interviews and Buster Olney of ESPN.com wrote earlier today that at least one source thinks Diamondbacks third base coach Matt Williams is the clear front-runner for the job.

Baker, who was fired by the Reds despite three 90-win seasons in four years, has said all along that he wants to manage in 2014.

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.