It’s hard to really think of anything related to Jon Niese’s arm as “good news” considering the Mets left-hander has already had shoulder and elbow problems this spring, but this at least qualifies as “not-bad news.”
Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that Niese received a cortisone injection after leaving Sunday’s start with elbow soreness and has been cleared to throw again in a few days following a clean MRI exam.
Rubin says Niese is still expected to begin the disabled on the disabled list–Bartolo Colon, Opening Day starter!–and it’s tough to imagine the Mets not holding their collective breath every time he takes the mound for a while considering his shoulder problems date back to last season.
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.