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Clayton Kershaw to face hitters Tuesday in simulated game

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES -- Clayton Kershaw will take the next step in his road back to resuming his season on Tuesday when he faces hitters in a simulated game. After a 60-pitch bullpen Friday, the Dodgers' ace was optimistic about how his rehab is going."

"It wasn’t a very good bullpen," Kershaw told reporters Friday’s series opener against the Chicago Cubs. "But physically I feel fine."

This will be the second attempt to throw to hitters in a simulated game since Kershaw was placed on the disabled list July 1. The first attempt didn't go as planned when Kershaw's back didn't respond well to the workload. The team and their lefty believe his back is in better health now after a month of rest.

The team also announced that Scott Van Slyke will have season-ending surgery on his right wrist this Thursday. Van Slyke was originally placed on the 15-day DL August 9 and had been transferred to the 60-day DL Thursday to make room for catcher Shawn Zarraga.

Jason Hammel will be on the mound for the Cubs Saturday. The Dodgers faced the right-hander at Wrigley Field May 30 but Hammel was removed with leg cramps after two scoreless innings.

Hammel has a 5-5 record and 4.41 on the road and is a career 0-4 with a 4.91 ERA in 8 games (5 Starts) at Dodger Stadium.

Chase Utley is the only Dodger in the lineup that has had much success against Hammel, going 5-for-10 with a triple, homer and three RBI in 14 plate appearances.

The Dodgers will send Julio Urias to the mound for his 12th career start. After giving up 8 runs over 7.2 IP in his first two starts, the 20-year-old has allowed only 14 earned runs in nine starts since and has won his last three decisions.

Three of the five homers Urias has allowed this year came in his second career start which came against the Cubs back on June 2. Javier Baez, Jason Heyward and Kris Bryant all went deep in that game. Baez and Bryant are in the lineup for the Cubs.