Bullpen sessions aren’t always newsworthy, but Clayton Kershaw’s rehabilitation 2.0 is an important story. Kershaw has been on the IL since July 7th with forearm inflammation. His first attempt at a return did not go well.
Kershaw threw his first bullpen in several weeks at PETCO Park on Tuesday and manager Dave Roberts was pleased with the results.
“I got a chance to watch, see it. It was really good. 20 pitches. The delivery looked fluid. Talked to him briefly afterwards. He felt good about it…fastball command. Looked really good.”
Manager Dave Roberts and the Dodgers are being much more cautious this time around with Kershaw. Kershaw admitted to trying to come back too fast during his first rehab attempt. Roberts stated that there still are plenty of boxes to check before the southpaw’s return, but Tuesday was a great sign.
“I’m excited. We’re all excited. Clayton was excited to get off the mound, off the slope, and feel good. As we can start using his entire mix, getting up to that 32 pitches, which is his normal bullpen session, with 100% effort, we’ll start getting closer. Today was a big step for all of us.”
Roberts was also asked if Kershaw will be able to start games once he returns to the club. The Dodgers skipper wouldn’t commit to Kershaw re-joining the rotation upon being activated.
“I don’t know to what extent [he’ll be able start]. I don’t want to put the staff or Clayton in any box.”
A fifth starter would be a welcome sight for the short-handed Dodgers rotation. Adding Kershaw back into the mix would also reduce the bullpen workload. Also, it’s Dodgers legend Clayton Kershaw, not some journeyman scrub.
Taking the slow and steady approach should yield better results for the lefty and the Dodgers.
Whether it’s as a starter or a reliever, the team will need Kershaw down the stretch and in October.