Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw avoided the injured list, at least for one day, but there doesn’t seem much clarity to what exactly is ailing the star pitcher.
Kershaw pitched six scoreless innings on Tuesday night but also left after just 79 pitches. After the game, Kershaw declined to elaborate on what he was dealing with other than fatigue.
“We’ll see tomorrow. I’ll give an update tomorrow on how I’m doing,” Kershaw told reporters on Tuesday night, as shown on SportsNet LA. “But I don’t think it’s too serious, and I don’t think I’ll miss a start. I should be alright.”
On Wednesday, manager Dave Roberts did not offer specifics on Kershaw’s malady other than it wasn’t his back, which has landed the left-hander on the injured list in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2020, and 2022.
#Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he’ll wait for Clayton Kershaw to give an update on what was wrong last night. Roberts did rule out a back injury for Kershaw. That’s as far as he would go.— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) June 28, 2023
Roberts also added they’re still optimistic he’ll make his next start vs. Pirates.
Some more caginess from Dave Roberts’ pregame session, per Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times:
Could Roberts say if the injury was arm-related?
“I can’t, I won’t,” Roberts said. “I’ll let him talk about it.”
Is it something Kershaw has had before?
“That’s totally reasonable,” Roberts said.
Kershaw leads the team in ERA (2.55), strikeouts (105), starts (16), innings (95⅓), and wins (10). He’s tied for the National League lead in wins, and ranks in the top five in ERA, xERA (3.51), strikeouts, strikeout rate (27.7 percent), strikeout-minus-walk rate (21.4 percent), bWAR (3.1), and fWAR (2.2).
He’s the only one of the top seven starting pitchers on the Dodgers rotation depth chart that hasn’t yet landed on the injured list this season.
It sounds like the Dodgers are open to the possibility, considering t’s likely Kershaw would only make one start — during the series against the Pirates at Dodger Stadium, from July 3-6 — before the All-Star break. The return of Julio Urías likely on Saturday in Kansas City will help alleviate the burden if Kershaw needs to miss time.
From Bill Plunkett at the Orange County Register:
"...given what he’s done for us this first half. But having a conversation with him, that might be different. And with what he’s done, he has earned that right to be in the conversation. So, we’re gonna have no problem having that conversation." 2/2— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) June 28, 2023
Whenever that conversation might happen, per the beat reporters on-site at Coors Field, the Dodgers have reliever Justin Bruihl with the team in Denver as an extra arm should Kershaw ultimately land on the injured list. But it didn’t happen on Wednesday.