Continuing to progress from a shoulder injury that has plagued him for most of Spring Training, Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw cleared another hurdle on Thursday by successfully completing another bullpen session without suffering any setbacks.
The 30-pitch outing again consisted of only fastballs for Kershaw, who threw on three days rest following a positive 20-pitch bullpen session on Monday. In that instance, it was Kershaw’s first bullpen since Feb. 20.
He remains on track to get more work in over the weekend and could see his workload increase with the start of the regular season fast approaching.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts revealed that Kershaw will throw more breaking pitches in his next bullpen session, which would indicate another step forward in his recovery, via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
Manager Dave Roberts said Kershaw was “pretty positive” about the outing and “the life to the fastball was good.” Roberts said Kershaw decided not to throw breaking balls and would take two days off, then throw another bullpen session with “his arsenal.”
While it’s certainly an encouraging sign that Kershaw has come away feeling good after ramping up his activity this week, the prospect of him taking the mound on Opening Day against the Arizona Diamondbacks is becoming more of a stretch.
With Opening Day now under two weeks away, Kershaw has yet to pitch in a Cactus League game. Still building up his pitch count, the three-time Cy Young Award winner is keeping the bigger picture in mind, focusing on his health rather than rushing back for one start.
In the event Kershaw is forced to miss some time at the start of the season, Roberts is confident in the Dodgers’ starting pitching depth to weather the storm until he returns.