Dodgers Roster: Updates on Clayton Kershaw, Danny Duffy

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(MLB.com photo)

Despite the lingering uncertainty in their starting rotation, the Dodgers continue to perform well in the pitching department, even on the days the staff is relegated to bullpen games.

As it stands, the three big guns in the Los Angeles rotation are Walker Buehler, Max Scherzer and Julio Urias, all of whom were strategically lined up to throw in the current series in San Diego. David Price has settled into a swingman role nicely, providing effectiveness most nights inside a five to six inning window. Mitch White and Andre Jackson have proven they have the talent to deliver in the final spot.

However, while the Big 3 might be strong enough for a short NLDS series, it could get tougher for the Dodgers as the postseason progresses with only three strong arms available.

Clayton Kershaw Progressing

Lefty Clayton Kershaw has experienced some drawbacks in his forearm recovery leading to speculation he could be used as a reliever, but if everything stays on its current track, there might be enough time for him to settle back into the rotation.

On Tuesday, Kershaw threw a 20-pitch bullpen session before the opener at Petco, and early suggestions have indicated that he feels good so far afterwards.

“It was really good,” manager Dave Roberts said Tuesday evening. “I think we’re all excited. Clayton was excited to get off the mound and feel good.”

Juan Toribio of MLB.com reports the next step will be playing a little catch on Wednesday followed by another bullpen a few days down the road. Roberts told Toribio that the next progression for Kershaw will be having him throw his full mix of pitches during a bullpen session, as it was just fastballs on Tuesday. Once that happens, the subsequent progression will be having him throw a 32-pitch bullpen.

While Kershaw is eligible to come off the 60-day injured list on September 5, it’s still entirely too early to put a timetable on a potential return.

Danny Duffy Begins Throwing

Similarly, new lefty Danny Duffy appears to be on track for a September comeback, but Roberts has specified the 32-year-old lefty will be joining the team in a relief capacity.

Nevertheless, Duffy appears to finally be progressing after being shut down completely for more than a month with a flexor strain.

“He just started playing catch,” Roberts said this week. “Obviously, looking at the calendar, I see him in the ‘pen, impacting us at some point because of the lack of time for a buildup. I love having him around. It’s been good for him to see our culture, his coaches, teammates, so once he does get active, he’ll be a lot more comfortable.”

Either way, it should be beneficial for the team to have both veterans among the staff down the stretch run of the season. There shouldn’t be any severe complications to create space on the active roster, as it will expand to 28 players at the beginning of September.

5 thoughts on “Dodgers Roster: Updates on Clayton Kershaw, Danny Duffy

    1. Poor VGon, just hasn’t been the same pitcher this year as he was last year. But last year was the outlier. He suddenly found control last year which he had never had before. Hope that by 2021 he’s back to the same guy we saw last year. At least we should have Fergy back next year which will add another really good southpaw to the pen.

      So who do we think draws the short straw when Mookie is activated tomorrow? Seems like it’s going to be between McKinney and Lux. Since they still can’t be sure about Mookie’s health for the rest of the year, I think they’ll want to probably keep McKinney around and he has no options remaining. So my guess is that Lux is optioned for the 6 games between tomorrow and roster expansion on the 1st.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Lux and Beaty were optioned. Max pitched a gem, Barnes hit a 2 run shot off of Darvish and they shut out and swept the now inept Padres. Mookie was activated with the idea that he is not going on the IL again this season. They said as much during the broadcast. I sure wish Orel would just shut up sometimes. BP game tonight against the Rockies then Price on Saturday. Braves come to town on Monday.

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    1. I haven’t been keeping tabs on Jackson’s OKC starts. Is he lined up for tonight or is it just going to be 9 guys each pitching one inning? I know White has started too recently to go tonight.

      Scherzer is an absolute monster. He brings some attitude to this team that was missing. Should turn out to be a very good trade for both teams. Kaybear hit 4 homers in 2 days this week at Rochester.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not sure if he is. But he probably is with the team. With the Braves coming in on Monday, they are probably trying to line up the pitching so their aces face the Giants next weekend.

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