As expected, the Dodgers placed Clayton Kershaw on the 15-day injured list Friday with low back pain, one day after he left his start in San Francisco after only four innings.
He walked off the mound with trainer Thomas Albert after throwing a few warm-up pitches before the fifth inning.
“I felt something kind of lock up there in the fifth, and couldn’t really throw after that. Something in my back again,” a frustrated Kershaw told reporters in San Francisco after Thursday’s game, per SportsNet LA. “Just more back stuff.”
Kershaw missed a month earlier this season with inflammation of the right SI joint, in the lower back/pelvic region. He’s spend time on the injured list for back-related maladies in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2020 as well.
The earliest the Dodgers might need another starting pitcher is Wednesday against the Twins, but they could also slot in Tony Gonsolin, who is starting tonight against the Padres, on four days rest. Thanks to off days next Monday and Thursday, the Dodgers could conceivably not have to add a fifth starter until August 16.
With Kershaw out, the Dodgers in the meantime will have an extra arm in the bullpen. On Friday, this comes in the form of Reyes Moronta, called up for his fifth stint in the majors this season, giving the bullpen nine pitchers.
Moronta has a 4.67 ERA and 5.54 FIP in 16 games with the Dodgers this season, with 20 strikeouts and eight walks in 17⅓ innings. Since getting optioned ten days ago, Moronta only pitched once for Triple-A Oklahoma City, tossing a scoreless inning against Sugar Land on July 29.
Moronta was slated to open Thursday night’s game for Oklahoma City in Salt Lake City, in front of Jon Duplantier, but those plans were scrapped.