As the Los Angeles Dodgers were trying to patch together their starting rotation in the final week before the All-Star break, they lost another pitcher when Clayton Kershaw was placed on the 10-day injured list due to left forearm inflammation.
Although that can often be a precursor for a damaged ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) and Tommy John surgery, an MRI confirmed Kershaw only is dealing with inflammation. He refrained from throwing during the break and still faces some uncertainty despite recent improvement.
“He’s doing well. Got a good break with the family, says he feels good, doing stuff in the weight room, moving his body around. Not sure when he’s going to play catch again,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
“Like I said before, we’re going to take this time to kind of give him a breather. He’ll start playing catch in the next few days and then we’ll kind of build him back up. Again, this is something that with the soreness and now taking some time off to build back up for the sprint, I think makes sense and Clayton is on board with that.”
Roberts added he doesn’t anticipate Kershaw completing a rehab assignment prior to being activated, but the team would ultimately defer to the left-hander once he’s reached that point in the progression.
What is certain is the Dodgers are not rushing a return and view the time off as a means of managing Kershaw’s workload.
“I think this is something that once it kind of came about, it made sense to take the time to cut some of the season off and save some bullets for the rest of the season and throughout the postseason,” Roberts explained.
“We feel good about it. Again, I’m not sure exactly when he’s going to start playing catch, but I feel good about the process.”
Gray candidate to fill in for Kershaw
The Dodgers came out of the All-Star break with Julio Urias, Walker Buehler and David Price as the probables for the series with the Colorado Rockies. That pushed Kershaw’s spot in the rotation back to next week, and it could be filled by Josiah Gray for his MLB debut.
“I think we’re speaking internally about someone coming up,” Roberts answered when asked about the club’s plans.
Roberts previously indicated Gray was likely to make a spot start after Dustin May was lost to Tommy John surgery, but the team was forced to move in a different direction because of his right shoulder impingement.
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