Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw was pitching like himself again on Sunday afternoon against the Atlanta Braves, but lower-right back tightness interrupted that start after just 2 full innings of work.
And now, a stint on the ten-day disabled list with interrupt Kershaw from making his next two starts, as Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts noted in his post-game press conference that Kershaw is expected to hit the DL due to his back injury.
Dave Roberts expects Clayton Kershaw to go on the disabled list.
— Andy McCullough (@ByMcCullough) July 23, 2017
While the Dodgers are being more precautionary with Kershaw than anything, you can’t fault them for showing concern after Kershaw missed over two months last season due to a herniated disk that was present in the 29-year-old’s back.
This back issue is said to be a more muscular situation than anything, and Kershaw’s status will be updated more on Monday after undergoing more testing. A good sign moving forward is that Kershaw didn’t experience pain in his leg this time around like he did last year when he felt tightness in his back.
“I felt a little something in my back that wasn’t normal,” Kershaw said following the game, the Dodgers’ 68th win of the season that saw Kanley Jansen blow his first save of the year after surrendering a three-run home run to Braves first baseman Matt Adams. “I’ve done countless hours of back maintenance and rehab just trying to stay healthy, so it’s definitely frustrating.
After Kershaw was able to finish the second inning in discomfort, outfielder Trayce Thompson came into the game to pinch-hit for Kershaw, who then went into the clubhouse with some of the training staff. Roberts and the training staff met Kershaw at the mound in the top of the second inning, and then after throwing practice pitches walked Tyler Fowlers and then struck out Adams before leaving for good.
If Kershaw hits the disabled list, he will join right-handed pitcher Brandon McCarthy on the disabled list. McCarthy is dealing with a blister issue, but the Dodgers will be getting back left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu this week from the disabled list. Los Angeles has also be linked to trade rumors involving Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish.
Kershaw is 15-2 on the season with a 2.04 earned run average and 168 strikeouts in 141.1 innings this season. That 2.04 ERA is the lowest among qualified pitchers in Major League Baseball, making Kershaw a prime candidate to win his 4th National League Cy Young Award.
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