Bad news Wednesday night out of Giants camp.
According to Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News, left-handed reliever Jeremy Affeldt will be shut down for the next 10-15 days with a sprained MCL in his right knee. That means that he will open the 2014 regular season on the 15-day disabled list.
Affeldt posted an underwhelming 3.74 ERA and 5.6 K/9 in 33 2/3 innings last year before suffering a July groin strain that lingered into September. He had a 2.66 ERA and 8.0 K/9 in 125 innings the two years prior and landed a three-year, $18 million contract from the Giants in November 2012. Affeldt had allowed seven earned runs in six frames this spring.
Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com suspects that the Giants will carry either Derek Law or J.C. Gutierrez to make up for Affeldt’s early-season absence. Final cuts are expected to be made Sunday.
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.