The Los Angeles Dodgers are just one day away from having their ace back in the starting rotation. With Zack Greinke on the mound in Monday’s game, Clayton Kershaw finds himself starting after his usual number two man on Tuesday. No matter where in the rotation Kershaw initially begins, the fans and the organization alike are absolutely enthused to have Kershaw back.
Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti seems to believe the team is getting their ace back in his highest form via the Baseball Tonight podcast with ESPN’s Buster Olney:
“I think he looked sharper in these two rehab games than he did in Australia or than he did in Spring Training for us. […] He, just to me, didn’t look as crisp as he does when he’s on, but the last couple of rehab starts I think he has.”
Saying that Kershaw is pitching better now than he did during Spring Training is not all too surprising. Although, when Colletti says that the left-hander looks better now than he did during his solid start in Australia that included just one run allowed, that’s saying something.
In his first rehab start in Triple-A, Kershaw went five full innings with six strikeouts and allowed just one run on two hits. In his most recent start last Wednesday with the Chattanooga Lookouts, he was able to increase his pitch count to 87 as he dealt five strong innings. Colletti also seems to believe the starter will be throwing somewhere in the 100-pitch range in his first start back.
Kershaw has been extremely frustrated with his time on the disabled list and has admitted that being away from his team has made him feel isolated. As the 26-year-old faces off against the Washington Nationals tomorrow, the Dodgers community eagerly awaits the return of their ace. With Hyun Jin-Ryu now on the disabled list, Kershaw’s return could not have come at a better time.
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