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Clayton Kershaw to start on Friday

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The Los Angeles Dodgers announced yesterday that Clayton Kershaw will start against the San Diego Padres on Friday. It will be his first start since facing off against the Braves on July 23.

Kershaw was placed on the disabled list on July 24 with a lower back strain. When he was shelved he had a 15-2 record with a 2.04 ERA and a 168/24 K/BB ratio in 141.1 innings. I guess he still does.

The Dodgers obviously don’t need him to win the NL West, but they’d obviously still like to get Kershaw some starts in during the season’s last month to tune him up for the playoffs. Assuming all is well with his back, his absence — while probably costing him a Cy Young Award — may actually turn out to be a blessing in disguise, giving him a lot of rest before the pressures of the playoffs.

Cardinals place Carlos Martinez on 10-day disabled list with oblique strain

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The Cardinals have placed right-hander Carlos Martinez on the 10-day disabled list with a right oblique strain, per a team announcement on Saturday. The move is retroactive to July 20. No definite timetable has been set for his return to the rotation yet, but interim manager Mike Shildt told reporters he feels confident that Martinez will only need to skip one start before taking the mound again.

Martinez, 26, sustained the injury while trying to snare a line drive during Thursday’s 9-6 loss to the Cubs. It hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing for the righty this season, as he lost nearly four weeks to a right lat strain and pitched to a 5.32 ERA after returning to the Cardinals’ roster in early June. Overall, however, his numbers look a little stronger: He’s 6-6 in 17 starts with a 3.39 ERA, 4.5 BB/9 and 8.4 SO/9 through 95 2/3 innings.

In a corresponding move, right-handed reliever John Brebbia has been recalled from Triple-A Memphis. The 28-year-old Brebbia has already enjoyed three short-lived stints in the majors this season; he currently holds a cumulative 4.13 ERA, 2.2 BB/9, 9.9 SO/9 and two saves in 32 2/3 innings with the club.