LOS ANGELES — Clayton Kershaw said he made a decision regarding bereavement leave, but that he plans to make his next start for the Dodgers in St. Louis, which would be Sunday against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium.
Kershaw’s mother Marianne passed away on Saturday. He said he already discussed his plans with president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, though that has not yet been announced by the team. Presumably, that decision would come on Wednesday, as Kershaw threw 90 pitches in four innings on Tuesday night.
Bereavement leave in MLB lasts a minimum of three days and a maximum of seven.
Dylan Covey was in the Dodgers clubhouse on Tuesday, though he wasn’t activated. Under the collective bargaining agreement, teams can’t require a player to report to the majors from the minors without adding him to the roster, so that means Covey either gets activated on Wednesday or would be sent back to Triple-A.
Dodgers relievers have covered 13 innings over the last two nights. Phil Bickford threw 48 pitches in three innings Monday, Shelby Miller threw 30 pitches on both Monday and Tuesday, totaling 11 outs. Justin Bruihl has pitched three straight days.
“We’re going to do something [Wednesday], but it will probably just be one player,” manager Dave Roberts said after Tuesday’s game.
Covey signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers in January after spending the last two seasons in Taiwan pitching for Rakuten of the Chinese Professional Baseball League. The 31-year-old, who went to Maranatha High School in Pasadena, had a 4.22 ERA in seven games, including six starts for Triple-A Oklahoma City, with 28 strikeouts and 18 walks in 32 innings.
He last pitched on May 10, allowing four runs over five innings in Round Rock.
The Dodgers would need to make a corresponding move to create room for Covey on the 40-man roster. One likely candidate is Jimmy Nelson, who is currently on the 15-day injured list recovering from his August 2021 Tommy John surgery and flexor tendon repair. Nelson pitched one game in Triple-A on April 25 but his rehab assignment was stopped a week later and the right-hander was shut down from throwing.
Transferring Nelson to the 60-day injured list would move his earliest possible activation to May 29, though it doesn’t sound like Nelson will be ready any time soon.
Covey, who hasn’t yet been activated, has a nameplate above his locker in the Dodgers clubhouse that has him wearing number 29. He wore number 33 during spring training, but that now belongs to outfielder James Outman.
After his postgame scrum on Tuesday, Kershaw thanked everyone who offered condolences since Saturday.
“It’s been humbling to see how many people have reached out. I’m thankful for that,” he said. “She was a great lady, and thank you to everybody that reached out.”