Rising above his team
Clayton Kershaw has made himself a Cy Young Award candidate with a 13-4 record, one that looks even better when you remember that he plays for the inept Dodgers.
"I guess that makes it more impressive," manager Don Mattingly said.
The Dodgers have the fourth-fewest wins in the National League, 49 entering Tuesday, but Kershaw is tied for the individual lead in wins (with Roy Halladay and Arizona's Ian Kennedy). Every other NL pitcher with 10 wins has a winning team behind team.
On the way back
Nationals righthander Stephen Strasburg is nearing the end of a long and painful road back from Tommy John surgery. The top pick in the 2009 draft threw a simulated game in Florida on Tuesday and, if all goes well, will move to a minor-league affiliate later for a rehab stint, Nationals manager Davey Johnson told the Washington Times.
Strasburg has been throwing simulated games for the last two weeks or so, the paper reported, and has been clocked throwing between 92 and 95 m.p.h. with no strain.
Seattle rookie Dustin Ackley had 19 extra-base hits in his first 37 games (through Monday). That's the second-highest total by any Mariners rookie in his first 50 games. Ackley passed Ken Griffey Jr.'s total of 18 with a triple and a double on Monday.
Alvin Davis had 26 extra-base hits in his first 50 games in 1984, when he was the AL rookie of the year.
The Giants placed lefthander Barry Zito on the 15-day disabled list with a recurrence of a right foot sprain and activated Jonathan Sanchez, who will start against the Phillies on Friday.
Texas designated 41-year-old reliever Arthur Rhodes for assignment to clear a spot on their 25-man roster for newly acquired reliever Mike Adams. The Rangers have 10 days to trade, release, or outright Rhodes, a former Phillie (2006), to the minors.
Rays righthander Juan Cruz was activated from the DL.
The Marlins will open their new ballpark near downtown Miami next April 1 and 2 with exhibitions against the Yankees.
Contact staff writer Don McKee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read his blog at www.philly.com/incites.
This article contains information from the Associated Press.