The Los Angeles Dodgers placed Clayton Kershaw on the 15-day injured list with low back pain and recalled Reyes Moronta prior to the series opener against the San Diego Padres on Friday. The Dodgers additionally activated Chris Taylor off the IL and optioned James Outman.
Kershaw left his start Thursday in the bottom of the fifth inning. He said after the game the back trouble started when warming up for the inning, but did not want to compare the issue to his .
The IL stint is a second this season for Kershaw because of a back injury. He previously missed one month while recovering from right SI joint inflammation that caused pain his lower back. Kershaw’s recovery was stalled a bit due to an epidural not providing expected relief.
The 34-year-old has now been placed on the IL for various back injuries during the 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020 and 2022 seasons. Kershaw additionally suffered two left forearm strains last year, with the second instance preventing him from pitching in the postseason and not resuming throwing until this past January.
Moronta returns 10 days after getting optioned as the corresponding move to calling up Garrett Cleavinger, who has since been traded to the Tampa Bay Rays.
If Moronta gets optioned back to the Minors one more time, it would mark five times since MLB began enforcing the limit on May 2. Thus, if he were to be sent down and again return to the Dodgers roster, the team would need to designate the right-hander for assignment if looking to make a move.
Impact of Kershaw’s back injury on Dodgers starting rotation
Because of two off days next week, the Dodgers conceivably do not need a fifth starter to fill in for Kershaw until Tuesday, Aug. 16. He would be eligible to return from the IL on that date, or the team could look to the Minors — likely Ryan Pepiot — for a spot starter.
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