A change of scenery didn’t coincide with a reversal in fortune as the Los Angeles Dodgers lost to the Miami Marlins in the opener of a six-game road trip. They now are on a season-worst five-game losing streak and have dropped three of four to the Marlins.
Logan Forsythe and Justin Turner weren’t able to provide an immediate boost, but their coming off the 10-day disabled list figures to suit the spiraling Dodgers well. So too will getting ace Clayton Kershaw back.
Having last pitched May 1, he was placed on the DL on May 6 due to left biceps tendinitis. The Dodgers at the time said they weren’t certain when Kershaw would be activated.
He’s made a habit of playing catch prior to games within the past week, which is an encouraging sign for the 30-year-old. Kershaw did so again on Tuesday at Marlins Park, with Dodgers manager Dave Roberts among those watching.
Despite the progress that’s being made, Roberts said Kershaw is not close to throwing off a mound or returning to game action, per Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times:
Roberts said he expected Kershaw to continue on a progression that would require him to throw from a distance of 150 feet before he could be cleared to throw a bullpen session. Roberts does not expect Kershaw to pitch off a mound during the team’s trip to Miami and Washington.
This season marked the third in a row that injury has forced Kershaw to the disabled list. In 2016 he was sidelined by a herniated disc in his lower back, and last season a back strain interrupted his season. Kershaw’s first time going on the DL was in 2014.
If there was a silver lining to be found with Kershaw’s latest injury, it was that an MRI didn’t reveal any structural issues in his throwing shoulder. Not only is that imperative to the Dodgers’ hopes of turning the season around, but Kershaw’s presumed forthcoming free agency this winter.