Robinson Cano is back in the Mariners’ starting lineup tonight after missing the past four games with a stomach virus followed by a bruised hand. And what do you know? They’re playing the Yankees, in New York.
Cano’s lack of power has drawn some headlines two months into a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Mariners, but looking beyond his two home runs he’s hit .327 with a .371 on-base percentage. Combined during his final five seasons with the Yankees he hit .314 with a .369 on-base percentage.
One interesting note about Cano’s four-game absence: Seattle initially turned to last year’s starting second baseman, Nick Franklin, to fill in, but then went with veteran utility man Willie Bloomquist for the past two games. Franklin has hit just .128 with an ugly 21/3 K/BB ratio since being called up from Triple-A.
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.