Andy Sonnanstine is attempting a comeback… as a knuckleballer

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Andy Sonnanstine hasn’t pitched at any level of professional baseball since 2011. In the time since, he graduated from college and has been playing a lot of golf, as MLB.com’s Bill Chastain reports.

Taking a cue from former teammate Dan Johnson, who is reinventing himself as a knuckleballer, Sonnanstine is doing the same. The right-hander is throwing 200 knuckleballs per day, six days a week, whether it’s to another person or to a net in his garage. Sonnanstine has solicited advice from Blue Jays knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, Steven Wright of the Red Sox, and former pitcher Charlie Hough. He hopes to meet with Tim Wakefield as well.

How much progress has Sonnanstine made? He said, “It’s getting to the point where the movement is there — it’s moving, dancing, darting. I want it to be there 85 percent of the time. It’s probably 45 to 60 percent-ish. That’s good for a guy just fiddling around. But I’m to the point where I’ve gotten just about as far as I can go on my own.”

Over parts of five years in the majors from 2007-11, Sonnanstine — now 33 years old — compiled a 5.26 ERA and a 343/136 K/BB ratio in 540 1/3 innings, all with the Rays.

Clayton Kershaw returning to Dodgers on 1-year, $20M deal

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LOS ANGELES — Clayton Kershaw will pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2023 after signing a one-year, $20 million deal.

For the second straight year, the Dodgers didn’t extend a qualifying offer to the three-time Cy Young Award winner. Instead, they gave him additional time to mull his future, and he once again decided to stay with the only franchise he’s ever played for during his 15-year major league career.

The 34-year-old left-hander was 12-3 with 2.28 ERA in 22 starts last season. He struck out 137 and walked 23. Kershaw made his ninth All-Star team and started the Midsummer Classic for the first time in his career at Dodger Stadium.

Last April, he became the franchise’s all-time strikeout leader with 2,697. He reached 2,800 strikeouts in his last start of the regular season on Oct. 5 against Colorado. Kershaw ranks 24th all-time with 2,807.

Kershaw has a career record of 197-87 with a 2.48 ERA. He won his only World Series title in 2020, when the Dodgers beat Tampa Bay during the pandemic-shortened season.