The good news keeps coming for Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw threw a successful bullpen session on Sunday. He’s now set to make a rehab start with the Oklahoma City Dodgers (AAA) on Tuesday. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts eschewed nothing but positivity when asked about the bullpen session.
“I thought [Sunday] looked really good as far as crispness, command, and the sharpness of the breaking ball. The life to the fastball. Yesterday, that pen was as good as I’ve seen in quite some time.”
Kershaw has been on the shelf with elbow issues since early July. His last start was July 3rd against the Washington Nationals. After initially hitting the IL, Kershaw, admittedly, tried to ramp up too quickly and suffered a setback in his recovery. It’s been a long road to get to this point, but his return is as close as it’s ever been.
Roberts reaffirmed that Kershaw’s rehab start in OKC is the final checkpoint before re-joining the Dodgers.
“Yesterday was good so he’s going late this afternoon [Monday] to OKC. He’ll make his start tomorrow. With that, expect him back at some point soon.”
For the season, Kershaw has a 3.39 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, and K/9 of 10.75. He’s a bit short on time, but a 14-year veteran should only need a start or two to recalibrate. More importantly, Kershaw’s return would get the Dodgers that much closer to a full rotation.
Through Monday, the Dodgers bullpen has thrown the second most innings in baseball in the second half (206.1). The unit has delivered (2.75 ERA), but rest will be crucial in the season’s final weeks.
Even if Kershaw can only pitch four innings, it’s more beneficial to the team than deploying three relievers to get those same twelve outs.
Besides, it wouldn’t be September without Clayton Kershaw.