To make room on the roster following today’s trade for Padres outfielder/first baseman Kyle Blanks the A’s have designated first baseman Daric Barton for assignment.
Once upon a time Barton was an elite prospect whom the A’s acquired from the Cardinals along with Dan Haren in the Mark Mulder trade and he showed a lot of promise as a 24-year-old in 2010, drawing a league-high 110 walks on the way to posting a .393 on-base percentage.
However, in four seasons since then he’s hit just .216 with four homers and a .608 OPS in 180 games and Barton’s numbers at Triple-A during that time haven’t been spectacular either. He can draw walks and play good defense, but at first base that isn’t enough to be a quality regular and there’s seemingly a good chance Barton will pass through waivers unclaimed.
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.