Since Clayton Kershaw took himself after pitching six brilliant innings at Coors Field last Tuesday, there has been concern surrounding him.
At 35, Kershaw is still the best Dodger starter in 2023. Kershaw has 10 wins and 4 losses with a 2.55 ERA and 105 strikeouts. Sunday, he was named to the National League All-Star team for the tenth time during his Major-League career. Many baseball pundits think Kershaw is the leading candidate for the National League Cy Young Award.
Nevertheless, Kershaw has left shoulder inflammation.
Like nearly all Major-League pitchers, Kershaw has dealt with this before. Wednesday, he received a cortisone shot, which helped some. Saturday, he played catch before the Dodgers’ 6-to-4 loss in Kansas City, but the Dodgers’ brass wasn’t impressed with the session.
An IL stint for Kershaw seems likely. If he goes on the IL, Michael Grove figures either to start or pitch the bulk of the innings. After Saturday and Sunday’s debacles, the Dodgers desperately need a good pitching performance.
#Dodgers Dave Roberts said they are still making final decision on if Clayton Kershaw will start tomorrow. Either way, they will taxi Michael Grove. If Kershaw does not start tomorrow, he will go on the IL and Michael Grove will start/take down bulk of the innings.— Kirsten Watson (@kirsten_watson) July 2, 2023
Grove isn’t likely to give the Dodgers what they need. In 37 innings during the 2023 regular season, Grove has a 7.54 ERA.
Since Kershaw has pitched 95.1 innings and is on pace to pitch 187.1 innings in 32 starts, it isn’t surprising Kershaw has shoulder inflammation. Kershaw is projected to pitch more innings than he has hurled since 2015. This year Kershaw is the only Dodger starting pitcher not to miss a start.
If Kershaw needs to go on the IL, he and the Dodgers hope the stint will be short, and Grove performs well Monday.