Spring Training got off to a bit of an inauspicious start for Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers as he was shut down for several days due to inflammation in his throwing shoulder.
Kershaw initially declined to provide any specifics behind his absence from workouts. Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt revealed the ace was dealing with something in his “joint,” and that was followed by manager Dave Roberts confirming Kershaw’s shoulder was ailing.
After receiving treatment and taking anti-inflammatory medication, Kershaw resumed playing catch. His first time doing so did not go well, but the three-time Cy Young Award has since made steady progress.
Kershaw built up to throwing a bullpen session on Monday, which he was pleased with, per Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“Good day. Good step forward for sure,” Kershaw said. “Felt great. It was another good day and I’ll take that right now. Just keep moving forward and start building up.”
With it being his first time throwing off a mound since Feb. 20, Kershaw was limited to 20 pitches, only fastballs and not yet at 100 percent intensity. Assuming he does not report any issues with his shoulder moving forward, another bullpen should come this week.
Though he is well behind compared to most other starting pitchers in camp, the Dodgers have not ruled out Kershaw extending his franchise record by making a ninth consecutive Opening Day start.