The Los Angeles Dodgers entered the 2021 season with one of the deepest starting rotations in baseball, but the group has been plagued of late due to injuries and other factors.
Dustin May was lost to season-ending Tommy John surgery, Trevor Bauer currently is on administrative leave amid sexual assault allegations and Clayton Kershaw remains sidelined with left forearm inflammation.
Kershaw was placed on the 10-day injured list just before the All-Star break, and though he didn’t throw during the period, he already has resumed lifting weights and started playing catch Monday.
The Dodgers are taking a cautious approach with Kershaw and have identified August as a potential timeframe for him to return to the mound, via Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times:
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he expects Kershaw to return sometime in August. Kershaw said he “absolutely” has a specific target date in mind, but he declined to share it.
“Everybody wants me to be back as fast as possible, but I also want to be as good as I can be in October,” Kershaw said. “It’s just kind of playing that game, trying to figure out the best timing for everything. It’s not an exact science, but I think we’re on the right page right now.”
Kershaw believes a potential return in August would give him plenty of time to prepare for the postseason as the Dodgers look to defend their World Series title.
The expectation is that Kershaw won’t need to complete a rehab assignment prior to being activated, but the Dodgers will ultimately leave that up to the left-hander once he’s reached that point in the progression.
Dodgers focused on starting pitching for trade deadline
With Bauer and Kershaw currently unavailable, the Dodgers are building up Price as a starter and are having top prospect Josiah Gray make his MLB debut against the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday.
L.A. also is said to be focused on starting pitching acquisitions ahead of the July 30 trade deadline. President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman hinted at such last week, but also left open the possibility of upgrading the bullpen if a deal for a starter doesn’t come to fruition.
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