Jake Arrieta close to rejoining Cubs’ starting rotation

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MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports that starter Jake Arrieta will need at least one more rehab start with Double-A Tennessee before rejoining the Cubs’ rotation. Arrieta showed up to spring training with a sore shoulder and has been behind schedule ever since.

Arrieta has made two rehab starts to date. On April 5, he allowed an unearned run in three innings of work. On Thursday, he tossed 3 2/3 innings of shutout baseball, striking out four and walking two.

Muskat said Cubs manager Rick Renteria received positive reports on Arrieta’s Thursday start. Once Arrieta is healthy enough to rejoin the rotation, he’ll displace Carlos Villanueva.

Howie Kendrick to undergo an MRI after exiting game with a serious leg injury

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Update, 7:49 PM ET: The Nationals placed Howie Kendrick on the 10-day disabled list with a right Achilles injury. In a corresponding move, right-hander Jefry Rodriguez was recalled from Double-A Potomac.

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Nationals left fielder Howie Kendrick was removed from the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Dodgers after injuring his right leg. In the eighth inning, Kendrick tracked a Max Muncy sac fly to the wall, but landed strangely on his right leg and fell to the ground. Unable to put weight on it, he was forced to exit the field on a cart and was sent to undergo an MRI soon afterward, the results of which have yet to be revealed.

While the Nationals have not specified the nature or severity of Kendrick’s injury, Martinez revealed that it’s located in the “lower part” of the outfielder’s leg and appears to be quite severe. He’ll likely be placed on the 10-day disabled list in the next couple of days, though the recovery process could take even longer.

Prior to the incident, Kendrick was off to a hot start this season. Entering Saturday’s doubleheader, he carried a batting line of .302/.331/.477 with 18 extra-base hits and an .808 OPS in 157 plate appearances. He went 1-for-3 on Saturday with a base hit in the seventh inning. Andrew Stevenson subbed in for Kendrick following the injury and has been tabbed to start in left field for the second game of the doubleheader at 8:05 PM ET.