Although Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts indicated over the weekend there would not be any changes to the starting rotation, the club reversed course Tuesday morning by announcing Clayton Kershaw and Dustin May would flip in the order.
That put the rookie right-hander on the mound for the series opener against the Miami Marlins, and provided Kershaw with a seventh day of rest before taking the ball Wednesday. Walker Buehler remained on track to start the three-game finale at Marlins Park on Thursday.
The decision to push Kershaw back not only provides him with another day of extra rest, it removes him from the equation of facing potential postseason opponent the Atlanta Braves this weekend.
However, Roberts maintained the Dodgers’ decision was solely based on doing what they believe is in the best interest of the team and Kershaw, as seen on SportsNet LA:
“It’s just more of the thought of, if we can give Clayton an extra day, why not do it? There’s really no cost to flip those two. He’s been so good all year, just in this stretch right now, to give him one extra day with the idea there’s really no cost, really made sense for us.”
Kershaw tied a season high his last time out with 101 pitches, and the change means he starts Wednesday on seven days’ rest. Of his 20 outings this season, Kershaw has started on regular rest seven times, received an extra day before nine starts, and twice pitched on six days’ rest.
His first outing of the season of course came after a prolonged layoff and beginning the year on the 10-day injured list, and Kershaw went nine days between his starts before and after the All-Star break.
Kershaw is 3-0 with a 2.49 ERA in four starts this season on six or more days of rest. Though that’s not suggest he’s struggled when sticking to a normal routine and rest (four days), as Kershaw has pitched to a 2.12 ERA in those seven outings.
Overall, he’s 11-2 with a 2.77 ERA and 1.04 WHIP.