Dodgers ‘Feel Good’ About Clayton Kershaw Starting Against Mariners On Saturday

Originally published by DodgerBlue.com

Clayton Kershaw had shaky command and reduced fastball velocity in his last start against the Miami Marlins on September 5, which prompted the Los Angeles Dodgers to push back his next outing.

Kershaw was initially scheduled to pitch in the series opener against the San Diego Padres, but got bumped to Friday’s matchup with the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park. The three-time Cy Young Award winner is now due to face the Mariners on Saturday in what will mark 10 days between starts.

Kershaw threw a bullpen session on Tuesday to prepare for the outing. “It was good,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “He threw his regular, low-30s ‘pen, used his entire pitch mix. I think he came out of it well, so I feel good about him making that start on Saturday.”

When asked if Kershaw’s upcoming start was pivotal due to his recent struggles and the postseason approaching, Roberts opted not to set any expectations. “Like I said, I feel good about it,” he began.

“I don’t have any expectations on length. I just want him to go out there and get as many outs as he can. I feel good about him making that start and putting us in position to win a baseball game.”

Including Saturday’s upcoming game, all six of Kershaw’s starts since returning from the 15-day injured list due to left shoulder inflammation are going to be on at least one day of extra rest.

Roberts previously revealed Kershaw’s left shoulder would not get back to 100% health this season, so the Dodgers are seemingly trying to help him navigate his way through the rest of the season and into the playoffs.

Dodgers optimistic Clayton Kershaw will get fastball velocity back

After topping out at 89.9 mph in his last start against the Marlins, the Dodgers are hopeful the long layoff will allow Kershaw to regain his fastball velocity.

“He was fine in Miami without the velo, but I still believe with the rest and kind of cleaning up some things with the delivery, the velo and characteristics of all of his pitches will be back inline with normal,” Roberts said.

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