The Los Angeles Dodgers have managed through the first three months of the regular season with a revolving door at the back of their rotation. All the while Clayton Kershaw remained his steady, if not improved self, throughout the seemingly constant shuffling.
However, Kershaw has now fallen victim to the injury bug, with lower back soreness forcing him to return to Los Angeles ahead of his teammates. The three-time Cy Young Award winner has suffered from the back trouble in recent weeks, suggesting the matter may not be serious.
But with Kershaw having his back examined by Dr. Robert Watkins, the Dodgers’ back specialist, on Wednesday, his availability for Friday’s scheduled start is uncertain.
The Dodgers have not yet released the results of Kershaw’s examination, though manager Dave Roberts has maintained optimism his left-handed ace will recover in time to face the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium.
In the even that doesn’t materialize, Roberts said the Dodgers may look outside of the organization for a starter, according to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:
Dave Roberts acknowledged #Dodgers Friday starter — "if it isn't Kersh" — could come from outside organization. Erasmo-mania builds
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) June 29, 2016
Los Angeles has been tied to Atlanta Braves right-hander Julio Teheran and Oakland Athletics starter Sonny Gray. Teheran and Gray are both slated to start for their respective club on Friday.
Most recently, the Dodgers were said to have interest in Tampa Bay Rays reliever Erasmo Ramirez, though as swingman who would start for them. One internal figures to be Jharel Cotton, who is on the Dodgers’ 40-man roster.
Cotton also aligns with the club’s need as he’s scheduled to pitch Friday for Oklahoma City. He would mark the 10th different starting pitcher used by the Dodgers this season, and fifth to make his Major League debut.