Despite being named Opening Day starter at the beginning of the spring, Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is currently dealing with a shoulder issue that shut him down from throwing for about a week.
Kershaw attempted to play catch on Monday, but Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he ‘didn’t feel great.’ That required Kershaw to temporarily be shut down a second time.
It won’t last as long as the previous instance, however. “He just didn’t like the way the ball was coming out,” Roberts said. “So with that, we just wanted to take a step back and revisit on Thursday. From yesterday, nothing has changed.”
Kershaw is still not scheduled to undergo an MRI on his throwing shoulder, so the concern in the organization doesn’t seem to be too high. Roberts maintains that he’s optimistic that Kershaw will be ready for Opening Day.
“Right now, we’ve said it from the beginning that we have so much depth in our pitching so I haven’t put any thought into Opening Day outside of Clayton,” Roberts said. “He absolutely is our guy and will continue to be our guy. So I think that right now it just doesn’t make any sense to get too far ahead of ourselves.”
The soon-to-be 31-year-old has had some tough luck with injuries the last few years, dealing with a various back and arm injuries.
“He’s as tough mentally of a player that I’ve ever been around and he prepares better than anybody,” Roberts said. “So he’s handling it as best as anyone could handle the situation.”
He added that Kershaw’s frustration stems from him wanting to be out on the field contributing with his teammates.
“I think it’s more of he has put in so much work and when you start Spring Training, he wants to be out there. So however you want to categorize it, that’s how he’s feeling as far as no one takes care of them self better than he does. So we’ll wait until Thursday and see what happens.”
While the concern level with Kershaw is still not high, if Thursday’s throwing session does not go well then that will certainly begin to rise.