Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw may not be all that far from returning to the MLB mound, but he has a few more steps to take. As Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports on Twitter, the star hurler could soon be cleared for a minor-league rehab assignment — if he’s able to complete a live BP session tomorrow without incident. Supposing things go well and Kershaw is ready to resume competitive action next week, he’ll still need to build up his pitch count before returning to the Dodgers roster. It’s not yet clear how many rehab starts he’d need before being activated.
More health notes from around the game …
- The Tigers announced Friday that pitching prospect Franklin Perez will miss the first four to six weeks of the season due to tendinitis in his right shoulder. He’ll rehab at the team’s spring facility in Lakeland, Fla. for the time being. The shoulder tendinitis is the latest health-related setback for 21-year-old, who also missed most of the 2018 campaign with lat and shoulder issues. Perez, who threw just 19 1/3 innings last seasons, was one of the key pieces Detroit received from the Astros in the 2017 blockbuster that sent Justin Verlander to Houston. Considered at the time of that deal to be one of baseball’s premier minor league arms, Perez has seen his prospect star dim as injuries have prevented him from taking the hill. Fortunately for the Tigers, he’s still quite young and has ample time to develop, but the ongoing arm issues are a troubling trend.
- There’s an even tougher diagnosis for Marlins prospect Osiris Johnson, as Wells Dusenbery of the Sun Sentinel reports on Twitter. The youngster appears to be sidelined for all of the 2019 season after undergoing surgery for a right tibial stress fracture. Taken in the second round of last year’s draft, the shortstop is considered a high-risk, high-upside talent. He turned in good results at the Rookie level but stumbled in a late promotion to the Class A level. This was to be an important year of development for Johnson, who only turned 18 last October.