Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Among the remaining Los Angeles Dodgers free agents, Clayton Kershaw represents arguably the most intriguing scenario.
He figured to be extended a qualifying offer for the 2022 season, but the Dodgers instead only did so with Corey Seager and Chris Taylor. President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman later explained the Dodgers did not want to put any pressure or timetable on Kershaw.
The 33-year-old was coming off an injury-plagued season and one in which he was unable to pitch in the playoffs due to a second brush with left flexor tendon trouble that was treated with a platelet-rich plasma injection (PRP).
Although Kershaw did not sign with a team prior to the MLB lockout beginning and despite collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiations not going well, he is approaching workouts as though Opening Day of the 2022 season will remain March 31, via the Dan Patrick Show:
“We have to continue to prepare like we’re going to play. At this point it’s February 9. There’s no way we’re going to be in Spring Training in a week, but I hope we’re in Spring Training soon so we can get the season started on time, because ultimately that’s the goal. I’m continuing to prepare like we’re going to start on time, but each day it just seems like we’re getting further and further from that.”
Kershaw finished last season 10-8 with a 3.55 ERA, 3.00 FIP and 1.02 WHIP in 22 starts. He missed nearly 10 weeks because of left forearm trouble, which included a rushed attempt at a comeback.
Kershaw did fare well upon being activated in September, but only managed to make four starts before getting shut down for the remainder of the year.
The Dodgers were encouraged the injury did not involve a damaged ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) and anticipated the three-time Cy Young Award winner getting back to full health in time for the 2022 season.
Kershaw confident in recovery process
Kershaw explained during the National League Division Series that he addressed the injury with a platelet-rich plasma injection (PRP) injection and was confident that and time off would remedy the issue.
“That’s going to be my treatment,” Kershaw said in October. “I’m going to rest and let it heal. I’m not going to get surgery on it or anything. Everybody I’ve talked to, all the doctors and everything, feel good that I’ll be good to go by Spring Training, so that’s the plan. … I just talked to a lot of people and been on the phone a lot.
“I feel good about it.”
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