Dodger’s future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw’s tough luck in 2021 continued early in the final series of the regular season on Friday. Kershaw was placed on the 10-day Injury List following left forearm discomfort in the second inning of Los Angeles’s series opener against the Milwaukee Brewers.
The 33-year old lefty’s tough break obviously couldn’t come at a worse time for him and the Dodgers as the postseason approaches.
Given that there is no timetable for his return, Kershaw’s forearm ailment thrusts left-hander Julio Urias into a role on the starting rotation come playoff time, according to manager Dave Roberts. A for sure starting role.
“I think it now clearly puts him (Urias) starting a playoff game,” Roberts said. “Where I think that before, you could kind of play with the idea of how to kind of deploy Julio with what makes most sense to win the most possible games.”
The Dodgers skipper said that Urias’s workload in tonight’s game was ultimately dependent on the outcome of another NL West matchup between the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres, which ended earlier this afternoon. San Diego won the game 3-2 in extras.
Roberts elaborated and said he is cognizant of Urias’s potential career milestone of 20 wins as a starting pitcher on the precipice as well.
“Obviously, I know that he has a chance to win 20 games, which is really important,” Roberts said. “It’s a feather in his cap going forward but balancing that with the workload that he’s taken on all year and making sure he’s sharp and fresh as we get ready for the postseason too.”
A victory for Urias tonight would make him the league’s leader in wins among qualified pitchers, ultimately strengthening his case for a Cy Young Award or All-MLB honors in 2021.
The 25-year-old ace is currently 19-3 with a 3.01 ERA and 1.04 WHIP.