The Los Angeles Dodgers have been without Clayton Kershaw for nearly two months and Tony Gonsolin since July 31 as they recover from injuries, however both are now closing in on their returns to the club.
Kershaw and Gonsolin have been in the process of building their arms back up and on Monday, they faced hitters at Dodger Stadium. “Today was a good day for the Dodgers so far,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said before the series opener against the Atlanta Braves.
“Tony went two innings and just looked really good, really sharp. He was pretty excited afterward, so we’ll see how he comes out of it. I know that a three-inning stint at an affiliate is in his near future,” Roberts said.
“As far as Clayton, it was really good. I don’t want to even be cautiously optimistic. I think I’m optimistic. I’m excited, he’s excited. It was one inning, but he let it go. Threw fastball, slider, change. We’re all encouraged. The big tell as far as short term is how he feels [Tuesday].
“Assuming he feels good and recovers well, then we can kind of bump up the progression.”
While it looks like Gonsolin will go on a rehab assignment soon, Kershaw’s timeline seems to be a little longer. He is not eligible to be activated off the 60-day injured list until Sunday, Sept. 5, but the good news is he might not need a rehab assignment.
“There’s a ‘pen in there and then another live situation with two innings, an up and down. And then where we’re at, who Clayton is and how he’s feeling, there’s a conversation as far as activation,” Roberts said.
“But again, we’ve still got to get through [Tuesday], get through the bullpen and another up and down, then we’ll see where we go from there. I’m really encouraged.”
What roles will Kershaw and Gonsolin fill?
The Dodgers have been building Gonsolin and Kershaw up as starting pitchers but their roles when they return are still undecided. It remains possible that one or both of them end up in the bullpen.
However, with the team relying on bullpen games quite often, it would make sense if both step back into the rotation. Particularly if one of them ends up pitching on the same day as David Price to still build up while getting around six to eight innings between the two pitchers.
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