The Los Angeles Dodgers play their final exhibition game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Saturday with the U.S. opener now just one day away. It’s been a turbulent week for the Dodgers, specifically Clayton Kershaw. The ace of the staff was set to start in San Diego on Sunday, but was scratched due to inflammation in his back. Kershaw wasn’t thrilled with the news that he’d miss a start and claimed on Thursday he would be able to pitch Friday if necessary.

Manager Don Mattingly echoed a similar sentiment, leading to the belief that Kershaw would likely return in time for the home opener on April 4. Despite the optimistic prognosis, the Dodgers will place Kershaw on the disabled list, according to J.P. Hoornstra of the Los Angeles Daily News:

The move will be retroactive to Kershaw’s start in Australia, reports Orange County Register’s Bill Plunkett. There hasn’t been an indication that Kershaw being placed on the DL correlates to the inflammation being more serious than initially believed; rather Mattingly views it as a measure to protect the competitor from himself, reports Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times:

With Kershaw now unable to pitch in the Dodger Stadium opener, Shaikin reports Hyun-Jin Ryu will take the ball in his place:

Ryu is also replacing Kershaw for Sunday’s game in San Diego. In the early weeks of Spring Training, Mattingly expressed concern over Kershaw potentially starting in the three marquee games early in the season. En route to winning his second Cy Young Award in 2013, Kershaw carried an extensive workload and with the Dodgers eyeing another postseason run, his services are much more needed down the stretch than in the early stages of the regular season.
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VIDEO: Don Mattingly Meets With Team To “Clear Air”

About The Author

Matt is a journalist from Whittier, California. A Cal State Long Beach graduate, Matthew occasionally contributes to Lakers Nation, and previously served as the lead editor and digital strategist at Dodgers Nation, and the co-editor and lead writer at Reign of Troy, where he covered USC Football. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mmoreno1015

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