Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw, on the injured list since August 5 with a back issue, was activated this morning. With the expansion of the active roster to 28 players as of today, September 1, no corresponding move was necessary. Kershaw will start this afternoon’s series finale in New York against Chris Bassitt of the Mets.
#Dodgers activated left-handed pitcher Clayton Kershaw from the injured list and recalled infielder Miguel Vargas from Triple-A Oklahoma City when the Major League roster expanded to 28.
— Kirsten Watson (@kirsten_watson) September 1, 2022
Kershaw left his start in San Francisco on August 4 when he felt something in his back warming up before the bottom of the fifth inning. He was placed on the injured list the next day, although he and the Dodgers have been optimistic of a quick return since an epidural injection completely resolved the pain.
In fact, Kershaw believes he has been ready to return for a while, telling Bill Plunkett over the weekend:
“Sometimes you can’t decide when you get to pitch. They tell you. I’m just trying to listen to them as best I can, not get too impatient.”
With Kershaw’s injury history, it made sense for the Dodgers to slow-play his return a bit. Last year, he returned from the IL in mid-September, only to re-injure himself in the last series of the season, causing him to miss the entire postseason. The Dodgers, who have an insurmountable lead in the NL West instead of the dogfight they were in last year, can afford to ease Kershaw back with an eye on having him fully ready to go the second week in October.
No word yet on his pitch or inning count for his start in New York today, but Kershaw threw 70 pitches in his last simulated game. Past experience would tell us the pitch limit would be no more than 80 or 85, but with the goal of October health, they might limit him even a little more than that.
Whatever the limit, we get Kershaw Day for the first time in four weeks, so it’s a happy day for Dodger fans.
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