After two months of being sidelined by an issue with his forearm, Clayton Kershaw is finally returning to the Los Angeles Dodgers starting rotation.
On Monday, the owner of Public Enemy Number One was reinstated to the Dodgers active 40-man roster from the 60-day Injured List. In the corresponding move, outfielder Steven Souza Jr was designated for assignment, for the second time this season.
When Kershaw was originally shut down with forearm tightness back in July, fans wondered if he would ever pitch for the Dodgers again. The issue could have been severe, leading to the dreaded Tommy John surgery. Kershaw’s latest contract with the Dodgers also expires at the end of this season, leading to doubt if Kershaw would pitch for the only team he’s ever known again.
But thankfully, that is not the case. After resting his arm and not throwing for a month, Kershaw slowly started building his arm back up, starting with long tosses and moving up to throwing off of the mound.
Kershaw had one rehab start in Triple-A Oklahoma City last week, where he threw three innings. He allowed four hits, including a two run home run, and throwing 49 pitches. He also allowed a double and issued three strikeouts and a walk. Clayton then joined the team in St Louis, and is now set to start Monday night for the first time since July 3rd.
The expected length of outing for the three time Cy Young Award winner is expected to be about four innings, and 60 pitches. Mitch White could handle some bulk innings after Kershaw’s night is through.
The Dodgers have finally returned to having five starters back in their starting rotation, as opposed to when they had three starters and two bullpen outings every five days. Still, for having to mix and match pitchers for as long as they did, their pitching staff has been phenomenal, keeping them in every single game.
After Max Scherzer threw his 3000th strikeout, he mentioned that he would like to still be Kershaw’s teammate when Kershaw throws his 3000th strikeout. Clayton currently has 2,653 career Ks. Thinking about the possibility of both of these future Hall of Famers in the Dodgers rotation for a couple more years is definitely exciting.
It is starting to seem more and more clear that the Dodgers will be hosting the Wild Card game come October. Seemingly, the San Francisco Giants may never lose again. Since the Dodgers could not take care of business in their head-to-head matchups, they won’t have much of a chance to make up the current 2.5 games they are back in the NL West.
The Dodgers are now starting a three game set against the Arizona Diamondbacks, while the Giants are beginning a four game set at home against the San Diego Padres. After losing three straight to the Dodgers, the Padres should be due for at least one win.