Perhaps it’s just wishful or positive thinking on the part of the Dodgers’ embattled manager. But when asked before Sunday’s game against the Washington Nationals, Dave Roberts sounded upbeat about Clayton Kershaw’s impending return. Roberts indicated to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register that Kershaw would need one more bullpen session. From there, a possible rehab assignment could be discussed. And then, the best part of all:
Roberts said Kershaw will need one more bullpen session then will discuss rehab assignment. Could he pitch for #Dodgers as soon as next weekend? “Anything is possible, Bill,” Roberts said
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) May 20, 2018
When Roberts was asked if Kershaw could pitch for the Dodgers as soon as next weekend – a home series against the San Diego Padres – Roberts responded that ‘anything was possible’.
Kershaw went on the 10-day disabled list on May 6th, before the Sunday series finale in Mexico against the Padres.
Doing the math, this really does seem like a rushed time-table.
Kershaw still needs to throw another bullpen session – presumably in a few days. He would then need to complete a rehab assignment a few days following that, given that there are no setbacks. For Roberts to say that it’s possible we could see Kershaw in the middle series of this long homestand may be a bit unrealistic.
The take-home message here is a positive one. Kershaw is obviously checking every box slowly in making his way back to the Dodgers’ rotation. As long as no bad news arrives, we should assume things are moving along in a positive manner. It still seems like a stretch that we see Kershaw back on a major league mound before June.
The Dodgers are doing their part at the present to to stay afloat. Four wins in a row have them five games back of the floundering Arizona Diamondbacks. It’s old hat to see this team perform well when their backs are against the wall, with key members on the shelf due to injury. If the Dodgers are going to make a go of it this year and get back in a pennant race, Kershaw has to return. It’s great to hear the manager so optimistic, but we have to hope that he’s not rushed back into the rotation due to things like Rich Hill’s recent injury. The organization will be careful with Kershaw. Consider Roberts’ statement some positive jingoism in what was a very big weekend for the 2018 Dodgers.
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