Justin Masterson scratched from Sunday start versus the Mariners due to sore right knee

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From Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer comes word that Indians right-hander Justin Masterson has been scratched from his next scheduled start Sunday against the Mariners because of lingering soreness in his right knee.

Masterson lasted just four innings on Tuesday against the Diamondbacks — allowing five runs on four walks and seven hits — and the knee problem apparently had something to do with it. The Indians have yet to name a replacement starter, and may have to call somebody up from the minor leagues.

Masterson has posted a disappointing 5.03 ERA and 1.54 WHIP through 17 starts this season for the Tribe, walking 50 batters in 93 innings. He had a cool 3.45 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in 193 innings last season.

The hope is that he will be able to return to Cleveland’s rotation by the middle of next week.

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.