Clayton Kershaw is scheduled make a minor league rehab start on Saturday. He’s was sidelined for nearly a month with biceps tendinitis, came back for five innings and has missed about three weeks since then with a strained lower back. The path back to big league action appears clear now, however.
According to Dave Roberts, Kershaw will be limited to four innings for his start this weekend for Triple-A Oklahoma City. If the outing goes well it’ll likely be his only minor league start. All signs, at the moment, point to Kershaw feeling good as he tossed a three-inning simulated game before yesterday’s postponed game in Chicago. Kershaw said he felt fine afterward.
Kershaw is 1-4 with a 2.76 ERA in eight starts. Despite all of his missed time, the Dodgers are 11-3 in June and have gained nearly eight games in the standings during Kershaw’s two stints on the DL.
This morning Major League Baseball announced a new elite league for high school baseball players who are likely to be drafted. It’s called the Prospect Development Pipeline League. It’ll start next summer and it’ll invite 80 of the best current high school juniors to play in a league in Florida from June through early July, culminating in an All-Star Game during MLB’s All-Star week.
The idea behind the league: to combat the current system in which a couple of pay-to-play, for-profit showcase leagues dominate the pre-draft season. Major League Baseball, schools and a lot of players’ parents have criticized this system because it favors rich kids who can afford to play in them. Major League Baseball is also likely quite keen on having greater control over the training, health and physical monitoring of prospects.
As Jeff Passan notes in his report about this, there will be a component of the program which involves live data-tracking of players during games and drills. Major League Baseball has become increasingly interested in such things but is limited in how much it can do in this regard due to labor agreements. There is no such impediment with high schoolers. Your mileage will vary when it comes to how you feel about that, I presume.