Dodgers News: Clayton Kershaw Throwing Bullpen Session At Minute Maid Park, Nearing Return

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Clayton Kershaw was scratched from his Opening Day start last week and placed on the 10-day injured list because of back stiffness, but he’s made steady progress since then.

And after spending all of July holding Summer Camp, playing exhibition games and start of the regular season at Dodger Stadium, the Los Angeles Dodgers now embark on their first road trip of 2020. Kershaw is not yet active and can’t come off the IL until the weekend, but he will travel with the team.

The Dodgers’ begin their nine-game road trip Tuesday against the Houston Astros. “The plan is on Tuesday we’ll get him off a mound again,” manager Dave Roberts said. “He got off a mound [Sunday], threw about 15 pitches. It went well.”

The Dodgers backdated Kershaw’s IL stint, which makes him eligible to return during the four-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Roberts confirmed the plan remains to active Kershaw for a start at Chase Field.

While Kershaw admitted to his latest back ailment being “defeating” because of the timing and prior months that he remained in good health, he assured it wasn’t “super serious” and anticipated making a speedy return.

Kershaw’s confidence was supported by an MRI not revealing any structural damage, and how he responded to treatment. The Dodgers’ longtime ace threw out to 90 feet on Friday, and continued adding to that distance during pregame workouts over the weekend.

Dodgers taxi squad

Kershaw won’t be the lone member of the Dodgers organization who is traveling with the team despite not being on the active roster. However, the three players on the taxi squad are a requirement by MLB for each club when they play road games.

Roberts said Sunday afternoon the only confirmed name at that point was Zach McKinstry. The team was otherwise deciding between Rocky Gale and Keibert Ruiz for the required catcher, and between two relief pitchers.

Taxi squad players serve as insurance should a player become injured or contract the coronavirus (COVID-19) while the team is on a road trip.

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