Clayton Kershaw threw off a mound for the first time since his back injury

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Clayton Kershaw took the mound yesterday for the first time since being placed on the disabled list with an inflamed back muscle, throwing a 15-pitch bullpen session.

Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that Kershaw threw only fastballs and “was throwing at less than maximum effort.” But at least it’s progress.

There’s still no timetable for Kershaw’s return to the Dodgers’ rotation and manager Don Mattingly told Ken Gurnick of MLB.com that the team’s training staff has instructed the two-time Cy Young winner to keep his velocity low in throwing sessions in an effort to avoid a setback with his specific injury.

Once he’s cleared for game action he’ll need to go out on a minor-league rehab assignment, so Kershaw is still several weeks away from potentially coming off the disabled list.

Peter Bourjos returns to the Angels on minor league deal

Peter Bourjos
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Free agent outfielder Peter Bourjos is heading back to the Angels on a minor league deal, per a report from Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors. The agreement includes an invitation to spring training, but has not yet been officially confirmed by the team.

Bourjos, 31, played out a one-year gig with the Braves in 2018 and slashed .205/.239/.364 with four extra-base hits and a .603 OPS through a career-low 47 plate appearances. He showed more promise during a short-lived stint with the Giants’ Triple-A squad in the second half of the season, but elected free agency in early November and had yet to catch on with another major league club. His deal with the Angels represents a homecoming of sorts, as he played some of the best years of his career in Anaheim from 2010 to 2013 before getting traded to the Cardinals in a multiplayer swap for David Freese and Fernando Salas in 2014.

The veteran outfielder is long past his prime, but could still bring some value to the team as outfield depth behind Justin Upton, Mike Trout, and Kole Calhoun. Per Adams, he’s expected to compete for a spot as the Angels’ fourth outfielder, though he also has limited experience at DH as well.