Heath Bell signed a minor-league contract with the Yankees on June 13, but after five unimpressive appearances at Triple-A they’ve released the 36-year-old reliever.
Bell was previously released from Triple-A by the Orioles, who signed him to a minor-league deal after he was cut from the Rays’ big-league team. Overall this season he has a 5.40 ERA in 17 innings at Triple-A and a 7.27 ERA in 17 innings as a big leaguer.
Also of note: Bell is still being paid $9 million this season as part of his original $27 million contract with the Marlins, who dumped him on the Rays in December while agreeing to cover about half of that money.
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.