Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Initial concern was downplayed when Clayton Kershaw asked to come out of his June 27 start against the Colorado Rockies. The left-hander had just completed six shutout innings when he signaled to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts that a relief pitcher needed to take over.
Kershaw wound up revealing he was experiencing left shoulder inflammation that was treated with a cortisone injection. The longtime Dodgers ace cited prior treatment for such discomfort as being effective, and he anticipated that being the case once again.
However, the Dodgers decided to place Kershaw on the 15-day injured list with the official designation of left shoulder soreness. He was initially projected to return immediately after the All-Star break but will have gone nearly six weeks between starts upon being activated Thursday.
Like in the past, Kershaw expressed some frustration with being on the IL and not able to contribute, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“There’s no satisfaction in sitting on the sidelines,” he said, having spent the past six weeks on the injured list. “You can’t enjoy what you’re doing. You’re just taking up space. You’re not doing what you’re supposed to be doing – your job.”
Kershaw further elaborated on the time missed by dismissing the notion that a break could ultimately prove beneficial with the postseason in mind:
“I’ve never been a guy who believes resting in the middle of a season is a good thing. Hopefully, I’m wrong,” said Kershaw.
“I think if you’re able to pitch, you should pitch. I think your body gets used to a certain thing during the season and a lot of change in routine is not a good thing. I mean, if you can’t pitch, you can’t pitch obviously. And mentally, too – I understand how some people enjoy the mental break from it all. But it’s definitely worse for me. Definitely not a good thing.”
Prior to the Dodgers officially placing Kershaw on the IL, manager Dave Roberts acknowledged he believed the time off — albeit expecting it to be brief — could be a positive for the 35-year-old. But Roberts also recognized that wasn’t a sentiment Kershaw was likely to share.
Kershaw this season is 10-4 with a 2.55 ERA and 1.05 WHIP over 16 starts. Assuming he remains healthy to finish out the 2023 season, Kershaw should make at least 10 more starts.
Dodgers starting rotation decision with Clayton Kershaw
As the Dodgers welcome back Kershaw to their rotation, it also comes with a decision on who gets removed. The team could get creative and look to provide Bobby Miller with a break, or potentially shift Tony Gonsolin to a bullpen role.
Gonsolin is expected to make his scheduled start on Saturday but there is uncertainty beyond that.
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