The Los Angeles Dodgers addressed their starting rotation ahead of the trade deadline by acquiring Lance Lynn, and although another addition could come before Tuesday, the team is also counting on Clayton Kershaw once he returns from the 15-day injured list.
Having thrown a bullpen session earlier this week, he’ll take another step toward being activated with a simulated game at Dodger Stadium on Saturday.
“It’s going to start with an inning, it might be two innings. I just don’t know where it’s going to be,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “And I think for us, just getting him to face some hitters is going to be a good thing.
“And once he passes that marker, we’ll have another conversation.”
That discussion likely will be where to slot Kershaw back into the starting rotation. Roberts has maintained a rehab assignment would not be necessary.
Kershaw could return on normal rest for the series finale against the Oakland Athletics. Or the Dodgers could elect to hold him out until the start of their road trip on August 4, which is against the San Diego Padres.
Another factor is when Lynn will make his Dodgers debut. Lynn last started on July 26, and thus the earliest he could take the mound for the Dodgers is their series opener against the A’s on Tuesday.
Kershaw has been on the IL since July 3 (retroactive to June 30) because of a left shoulder injury. Kershaw described it as inflammation days after asking to come out of his start against the Colorado Rockies, but the Dodgers’ official designation for the IL was left shoulder soreness.
Clayton Kershaw overcoming delay
Saturday’s simulated game was originally scheduled for Monday, but the Dodgers decided to instead have that be a bullpen session. However, the team adjusted their plans once again to push it back a day.
Roberts said that stemmed from a matter of logistics, not because of any sort of setback for the veteran.
Kershaw previously dealt with a left shoulder injury in 2014 when he landed on the IL because of a strain, and he was scratched from an Opening Day start in 2019 due to inflammation.
Kershaw is 10-4 with a 2.55 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in 16 starts this season. He last pitched for L.A. on June 27.
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