Dodgers notes: Clayton Kershaw, A.J. Ellis take major step in recoveries

first_img“We wanted to make it as game-like as possible,” Ellis said. “His warmup was very comparable to a regular start. Having hitters added adrenaline and intensity for him. He had to think his way through counts, and I know that was important for him. He needs game situations.” Kershaw said he was pleased with his session, but cautioned against pinpointing a return just yet.“As long as it didn’t hurt, that was the main thing. And I felt good. It felt pretty normal,” Kershaw said. “Obviously you can’t simulate the adrenaline of a major league game, but as far as 10 a.m. in a simulated game, I gave it all I had.“This was a good step. Facing hitters was kind of the next progression, and to get some hitters in there and get their reactions was good. Now it’s a matter of building back up and seeing how I come out tomorrow.”Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was also reluctant to narrow down a return date for the team’s ace.“We just kind of continued what we’re doing, moving in the right direction,” Mattingly said. “We need him to be healthy. That’s the main thing. Being healthy and being able to compete.“I have not heard from medical on a return date, but I’m sure they’re going to want him to compete and build him up, not just have him throw four innings.”Ellis also continued his fast progression from April 8 left knee surgery.Ellis said he has caught several bullpen sessions this week from a pitching machine and said he is “100 percent” in terms of baseball activities.“I caught balls in the batting cage from a machine earlier in the week, and I lobbied my way to warming up Kers in the bullpen, then I lobbied more and caught the entire session,” Ellis said.The threshold for Ellis will be his running and his explosiveness.Ellis originally was slated to be out 4-6 weeks, but said he is ahead of schedule and did not rule out a return in the next week or two, assuming he passes the checkmarks set out by the medical staff.“I think we have been pleasantly surprised very step of the way with how this has progressed,” Ellis said. “We keep trying stuff. Once or twice, we’ve had to wait another day, but it’s been good. Originally they said 4-6 weeks, but I’m hoping four weeks is on the high side.“It felt good to put on a baseball jersey today, that’s for sure.”Ethier seems betterNothing like an energizing three-run homer to cure what ails a player.Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier took IV fluids before Saturday’s game to combat a head cold and later hit a game-changing three-run homer in L.A.’s 8-6 comeback win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.Mattingly said Ethier appeared better on Sunday and was back in the lineup.“He looks good. I checked with him this morning,” Mattingly said. “I’m not sure on the IV situation, but he looked better today. Had more energy. This thing has not been an energy killer, more of a head cold.”Around the basesMattingly celebrated his 53rd birthday on Easter Sunday … South Korean left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, having already donated $100,000 to the Sewol ferry disaster efforts, signed autographs at the Viva Los Dodgers celebration on Sunday to raise money for more donations. … Third baseman Juan Uribe has had five three-hit games so far this season in 18 games, compared to seven last year in 132 games. “I felt good. A.J. looked great. It was just like normal,” said Kershaw, who has been on the disabled list since March 30 with a Teres Major strain in his upper left back.Kershaw and Ellis tried to emulate real-game situations as much as possible, from the warmup in the bullpen to facing hitters like Drew Butera and Chone Figgins.“He looked pretty good to me,” Butera said after facing Kershaw. “I don’t know the plan for him, but he looked pretty good.”Kershaw threw about 50 pitches in about three innings of work. His fastball topped out at 90 mph, and he used his full array of pitches.Kershaw even shook off his good friend Ellis a few times for good measure. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img It was about as encouraging as nervous Dodgers fans and upper brass could have envisioned.Clayton Kershaw took the Dodger Stadium mound Sunday morning and faced hitters for the first time since March 22 in a simulated game.And A.J. Ellis served as the surprise catcher.Kershaw and Ellis each took positive steps in their recoveries from injuries with a three-inning simulated game, which Kershaw described as “full effort.”last_img read more