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Clayton Kershaw could return to Dodgers staff this week

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Update: Manager Dave Roberts confirmed Kershaw’s start on Friday against the Marlins, via Alanna Rizzo of SportsNet LA.

It was his first rehab stint since he landed on the disabled list with a herniated disc back in July, and Clayton Kershaw looked pretty good. Against the scenic backdrop of LoanMart Field, Kershaw blazed through the Single-A Modesto lineup with ease, striking out five batters and yielding one hit in three scoreless frames. His slider looked sharp, and the velocity on his fastball hovered right around his season average of 93.7 m.p.h.

The most important part of Kershaw’s outing wasn’t stymieing the Modesto Nuts’ offense, however, but making sure that the left-hander could get through a few innings without pain or stiffness in his back. According to Jim Alexander of The Orange County Register, Kershaw’s postgame comments were largely positive, and barring any last-minute complications, he estimated a return to the big league mound as soon as Friday:

I think they’re still ironing some stuff out, but at this point it’s still kind of a pitch count deal, making sure that I can contribute and not just go out there. It helps that it’s September, and we’ve got a lot of guys out there in the bullpen. We’re still working the kinks out, but we’ll see.

There’s no official word from the team yet, and it’s likely that Kershaw will be shackled to some kind of pitch limit as the season winds down. He exhausted his full range of pitches on Saturday and struggled to command his curveball on several occasions.

Until their ace is up to full speed, the Dodgers will turn to right-hander Jose De Leon, who’s scheduled for his major league debut on Sunday at 4:10 PM EDT.

Video reviews overturn 42% rate; Boston most successful

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NEW YORK (AP) Video reviews overturned 42.4% of calls checked during Major League Baseball’s shortened regular season, down slightly from 44% in 2019.

Boston was the most successful team, gaining overturned calls on 10 of 13 challenges for 76.9%. The Chicago White Sox were second, successful on eight of 11 challenges for 72.7%, followed by Kansas City at seven of 10 (70%).

Pittsburgh was the least successful at 2 of 11 (18.2%), and Toronto was 7 of 25 (28%).

Minnesota had the most challenges with 28 and was successful on nine (32.1%). The New York Yankees and Milwaukee tied for the fewest with nine each; the Yankees were successful on five (55.6%) and the Brewers three (33.3%).

MLB said Tuesday there were 468 manager challenges and 58 crew chief reviews among 526 total reviews during 898 games. The average time of a review was 1 minute, 25 seconds, up from 1:16 the previous season, when there 1,186 manager challenges and 170 crew chief reviews among 1,356 reviews during 2,429 games.

This year’s replays had 104 calls confirmed (19.8%), 181 that stood (34.4%) and 223 overturned. An additional 12 calls (2.3%) were for rules checks and six (1.1%) for recording keeping.

In 2019 there were 277 calls confirmed (12.5%), 463 that stood (34.1%) and 597 overturned. An additional nine calls (0.7%) were for rules checks and 10 (0.7%) for record keeping.

Expanded video review started in 2014.