Matt Kemp unlikely to be ready for Opening Day

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Death, taxes, Matt Kemp suffering from ailments:

 

On the one hand, sure, an early start for the Dodgers due to the Australia trip and thus a short camp. On the other hand: when was the last time a veteran suffering from nagging ailments was actually ready to go when they say, well beforehand, they’d probably be ready to go? In light of history alone I’d be worried about that April 1 date.

Kemp underwent shoulder and ankle surgeries in October and is currently running and swinging at about 60 percent and “getting close” to feeling like himself. But as Gandhi famously said: Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

Masahiro Tanaka to throw off a mound this weekend

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Earlier this month Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka strained both of his hamstrings while running the bases in an interleague game against the Mets and was sent to the 10-day DL. Today it was announced that the beginning of the end of most DL stints for pitchers — throwing off of a mound — is in Tanaka’s immediate future.

Tanaka is scheduled to throw off a mound Sunday, which will be his first real (well, fake real) pitching action since the June 9th injury. Assuming the session goes well, Tanaka is expected to return to the Yankees’ starting rotation sometime in early-to-mid July. With the All-Star break coming the week of July 16, it would not be hard to imagine the Yankees giving him a few extra days to get right.

Tanaka is 7-2 with a 4.58 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 73/19 in 72.2 innings on the season.