In a surprising turn of events, it looks as though Clayton Kershaw will not be headed to the minor leagues to rehab his back. Instead, Kershaw will start the Dodgers Saturday game in New York. Kershaw was originally slated for a tune-up game in Omaha tomorrow.
Clayton Kershaw will now start tomorrow against the Mets. The Dodgers changed their mind about having him make a rehab start in rainy Nebraska.
— Pedro Moura (@pedromoura) June 22, 2018
Who knows what the reasoning behind this is, but it’s not completely unexpected. Kershaw opted to skip his rehab start when he was coming back from biceps tendinitis earlier this year. And with time ticking on his potential contract season, he probably wants to get out there as soon as he can.
We will have to see how far he is able to go in this one, but rehabbing is certainly the safe route for an injured pitcher. Kershaw has started just eight games in 2018 and allowed 15 earned runs. That puts him at an unusually high 2.76 earned run average for the season. It is worth noting that his strikeout rate has dropped significantly as well. He is down to 9.7 strikeouts per nine innings.
Sandy Koufax also here, but he won't be pitching Saturday.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) June 22, 2018
There is a lot to unpack here, but the simple fact is the Dodgers need starting pitching. Their rotation has been hit hard all year long and the bullpen has been overworked. With Ryu and Buehler still out, Kershaw’s arrival could instill a certain level of confidence to the exhausted pitching staff.
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