Dodgers activate A.J. Ellis from the disabled list

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MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers have activated catcher A.J. Ellis from the disabled list. To create room for him on the roster, the club optioned Tim Federowicz to Triple-A Albuquerque.

Ellis had been on the disabled list with a sprained right ankle, suffered while celebrating Josh Beckett’s no-hitter against the Phillies on May 25. Leading up to the injury, the 33-year-old had been struggling at the plate, slashing¬†.170/.350/.213 with only two doubles and an RBI in 60 plate appearances.

Ellis had missed just over a month of playing time after undergoing surgery on the meniscus in his left knee on April 6.

Clayton Kershaw might return to the Dodgers’ rotation next week

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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.