The beloved Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw appears to be dealing with some issues at the beginning of Spring Training which is obviously not a good sign.
Asked specifically if it was back-related. Kershaw: "I'm just taking a few days. I'm not going to be super-specific right now. But I should be playing catch in the next few days and kind of go from there. This is super early. I just want to make sure things are right." #Dodgers
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) February 22, 2019
This comes on the heels of being sent home early on Thursday.
Clayton Kershaw is at camp today after he went home early yesterday. Dave Roberts said he wasn't happy with his recent live BP or bullpen. Roberts insisted he's not alarmed, but Kershaw won't throw for now. No timetable.
— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) February 22, 2019
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Kersh’s offseason was supposed to be one where his main focuses were regaining his velocity and increasing his flexibility. Hopefully those two things still come to fruition in the regular season, but the odds do not look great at the outset of camp.
After a year where Kershaw’s velocity dropped down to 90.9 mph on his fastball and his swinging strike rate dipped at an alarming rate (14.1 to 11%), this Spring Training is quite possibly the most important of Kershaw’s career.
However, as fans, we know just how much of a gamer Clayton is. If he felt 90% in his pen sessions, it doesn’t meet his standards. Although this seems a little more alarming, we know Kershaw’s work ethic has always been fantastic.
The idea that there is no timetable for him to resume throwing is not great, but it could simply be the Dodgers playing it slow with the veteran. With the amount of success he has enjoyed in his career and the mileage on his arm, he should be afforded extra rest.
Roberts said Clayton Kershaw will do weights and training today. Pushing things back is “prudent,” Roberts said. No timetable on next time he throws. Not fatigue, not back. It’s a “reset.” “No one’s alarmed or worried about it.”
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) February 22, 2019
If Dave Roberts is not ‘alarmed’ that really does not mean much anymore. The Dodgers have a history of downplaying injuries or certain instances that occur around the clubhouse, most notably the Corey Seager situation.
We can hope and pray that Kersh is fine and gets back to being vintage Kershaw in 2019, but the odds of that happening are trimmed quite a bit by this situation.