The Dodgers are hoping to get Clayton Kershaw back in time for a very important stretch of games. With October baseball looming, time is running out for them to get the veteran southpaw up to speed and into starting shape again.
Kershaw has been on the injured list since the All-Star break with a forearm/elbow issue. The Dodgers moved him to the 60-day injured list this past month in order to get some other arms onto the roster. The move made sense given that Kershaw was clearly still a ways out.
This week, he has spent a few consecutive days playing catch and building up his distance. He reportedly got up to 120 feet today which is a big step towards returning. Unfortunately, the Dodgers still don’t sound sure what the next step is for him. Dave Roberts confirmed they did not know what the net progression was for him leading up to his rehab assignment.
I don’t know what the next progression is. Once he gets on the mound in that first bullpen back, I’ll be pretty excited. But I just don’t know the date yet.
Despite the obvious need for starting pitching, the Dodgers won’t rush back the 33-year-old hurler. They’ll give him the time that he needs and could even opt for a swing role should the stress of starting prove to be too much of a mountain to climb.
But they will need him back. Kershaw provides value late in the year that they can’t get from just any player. He’s Clayton Kershaw. He is the Dodgers.