Cubs’ Fujikawa to start season on disabled list


The Chicago Cubs placed right-hander Kyuji Fujikawa on the disabled list as they set their Opening Day 25-man roster on Sunday.

Fujikawa, who underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow last June, was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 21. He has recovered well enough to practice in the bullpen at spring training and, all going well, is expected to return to action this summer.

The former Hanshin Tigers closer signed a two-year contract worth $9.5 million with the Cubs in December 2012.

In 12 games last season, Fujikawa had a 1-1 record with two saves and a 5.25 ERA. He saved 220 games over 12 years in Japan.

Kershaw headed to DL

San Diego

Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday for the first time in his seven-year career because of a swollen muscle in his left upper back.

“I’m not going to get into specifics,” Kershaw told reporters. “I can’t pitch right now. It’s frustrating. I’ve been hurt before where I knew when I’d be able to pitch. I’m getting better right now, just not fast enough. You don’t feel like you’re a part of the team when you’re hurt. It’s not a good feeling.”

Kershaw was on a throwing program and was tossing the ball at different distances Saturday before the team’s Freeway Series finale against the Angels when he experienced discomfort on his 27th throw.

“He felt it, and that was the last straw,” manager Don Mattingly said. “So at that point, we knew we couldn’t have gone any farther and that it was a DL situation. It’s a situation — not just for me, but for everyone — that we’ve got to save Clayton from Clayton at this point and be cautious. We can’t allow him to try to keep pushing and go forward. If it was up to him, I’m sure he’d want to go farther. But we can’t allow him to do that right now.”