The Dodgers activated Clayton Kershaw off the injured list on Thursday to start the series finale against the Mets at Citi Field. With him as active roster limits expand from 26 to 28 is Miguel Vargas, one of the club’s top hitting prospect, recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City for his second stint in the majors.
Kershaw last started on August 4 in San Francisco, exactly four weeks ago. He was sidelined this time with low back pain, after missing 29 days in May and June with inflammation in his right SI joint.
The timing of his return, with five weeks remaining in the regular season, leaves time for around six starts to get ready for the postseason, the first of those coming in the series finale Thursday afternoon against the Mets.
Vargas made his major league debut on August 3 in San Francisco, driving in two runs with a double and a single. He played two games in his first big league time before getting sent back down to Triple-A.
The 22-year-old has excelled in the Pacific Coast League this season, but especially so since his demotion. He hit .375/.518/.594 with eight doubles, two home runs, more walks (17) than strikeouts (12), helping him to score 19 runs in 19 games.
On the season, Vargas hit .304/.404/.511 with Oklahoma City, a 129 wRC+ with 17 home runs, and led the league with 133 hits, 32 doubles, and 100 runs scored. Vargas also ranked among the top five in the PCL in RBI (82), walks (71), extra-base hits (53), total bases (224), on-base percentage, and OPS (.915).