Brian Cashman says Michael Pineda is taking “baby steps”

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Yankees general manager Brian Cashman gave an update on Michael Pineda’s setback-filled recovery from a strained back muscle, telling Brendan Kuty of the Newark Star Ledger that the rehabbing right-hander “is going through baby steps.”

Pineda last pitched in April, first serving a suspension for pine tar usage and then hurting himself while pitching on the side during the suspension.

According to Cashman the Yankees are now somewhat hopeful that Pineda can return in August, although given the inaccuracy of their previous timetables that doesn’t mean a whole lot at the moment.

Kuty reports that Pineda has just now started a throwing program, making 25 tosses from 60 feet over the weekend.

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.