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Clayton Kershaw says he’s ‘encouraged’ after return to mound

MLB: Spring Training-Los Angeles Dodgers-Workouts Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After over three months of the Major League Baseball lockout and a paucity of actual news, the last few days with spring training camps opening have seemed like a firehose of information. Even the minutiae has seemed exciting after we were starved for 99 days.

Clayton Kershaw has been front and center of late on the news front. He agreed to a one-year contract on Friday, which was finalized on Sunday, the first day players officially reported to Camelback Ranch in Arizona. Kershaw’s contract is for $17 million, plus another $5 million in bonuses based on starts, and potentially another $1.5 million if he wins the Cy Young Award.

Kershaw on Sunday said the opportunity to win the World Series differentiated the Dodgers from his hometown Rangers in free agency. On Monday, Kershaw threw 15 pitches in live batting practice against Mookie Betts, Justin Turner and AJ Pollock.

From Juan Toribio at MLB.com:

“I was really encouraged by today,” Kershaw said. “I felt like everything came out as good as it can for the first time. Hadn’t faced hitters, hadn’t thrown off a dirt mound yet — to do all that stuff and come away feeling good and feel my stuff was in a decent spot was encouraging.”

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If you’re into making opening day roster projections, you can strike a pair of relievers off the list. From Jack Harris at the Los Angeles Times, “Caleb Ferguson and Tommy Kahnle are unlikely to be ready for opening day, Roberts said, as they try to come back from Tommy John surgery.”

Dustin May is coming back from his own Tommy John surgery, and could return around the All-Star break. He’s nearing a return to the pitching mound as part of his rehab, he told Kristen Watson at SportsNet LA on Monday:

Joe Kelly’s two-year, $17 million contract with the White Sox became official on Monday. The Dodgers tweeted a goodbye: