Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers started rookie Emmet Sheehan in the series opener against the Washington Nationals and are following him with Bobby Miller on Saturday, but Clayton Kershaw won’t pitch in the finale at Nationals Park.
The Dodgers instead have yet to name a probable starter for the afternoon matchup and decided to push Kershaw back to Monday, in the opener of a three-game homestand against the San Diego Padres. That amounts to Kershaw again taking the mound on five days’ rest.
Under Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, the team historically has provided their starters with extra rest whenever possible. That’s held especially true for Kershaw since returning from the 15-day injured list on August 10.
Including Monday’s upcoming game, each of his six outings after returning all are going to be on at least one day of extra rest.
The Dodgers are seemingly trying to help Kershaw navigate his way through the rest of the season and into the playoffs amidst an apparent lingering left shoulder injury.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has taken a guarded tone whenever discussing Kershaw over the past month, though the longtime ace dismissed the notion of being affected by shoulder trouble.
Roberts said the Dodgers intended to keep having Kershaw start games so long as he remained healthy enough to do so. In addition to that respective being given to a franchise icon, the Dodgers are also in a position where they need Kershaw to continue making starts.
Is Clayton Kershaw healthy?
Kershaw pitched five innings against the Miami Marlins and despite only allowing three runs, had shaky command and reduced fastball velocity. He walked five hitters compared to only three strikeouts, allowed two home runs, and topped out at 89.9 mph on his fastball.
Kershaw’s average fastball of 88.2 mph was down 2.9 mph from his season average.
When the Dodgers first put the 35-year-old on the IL, it was believed he would make a quick return. But more rest was recommended to Kershaw after he underwent an MRI, the specifics of which he or the Dodgers never disclosed.
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