After five straight seasons with at least 31 starts, Dodger fans are still getting accustomed to life with Clayton Kershaw on the disabled list. As Kershaw continues to progress, however, it may not be long before No. 22 is back on the mound for LA.
This morning, David Vassegh, the co-host of Dodger Talk, tweeted that Kershaw continued his recovery with another bullpen session:
Kershaw threw a 26 pitch bullpen session. Pitched from stretch and wind up almost at full speed. Mattingly stood in from left side
— David Vassegh (@THEREAL_DV) April 15, 2014
The key here is the note of “full speed”, as Kershaw reportedly threw a bullpen session three days ago — but not at full-speed.
With no timetable set on his return, news like this has to be encouraging to Dodger fans — knowing their ace might be back sooner rather than later. The even better news for Dodger fans, however, is that the team seems to be doing just fine without him — sitting in first place in the NL West.
Kershaw went on the disabled list after making a start in Australia and it was initially thought to be a minor issue. That minor issue turned into a bigger deal and some believe that Kershaw may not return until June. The trip to the disabled list was the first in the reigning Cy Young award winner’s career.
The goal of this team is the playoffs and the World Series, so there’s really no reason to rush Kershaw back until they’re positive he’s 100 percent. In fact, the focus with Kershaw isn’t even just on 2014, but the next decade of his career in Los Angeles.
In the meantime, the Dodgers will continue rotating starters into the rotation like Josh Beckett and Paul Maholm. Another name that could eventually make it into the mix is Chad Billingsley, who many expect back sometime in the next few months.
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