Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Clayton Kershaw returned from an unspecified left shoulder injury in August and pitched well down the stretch for the Los Angeles Dodgers, but it was clear he never got back to full health.
The left-hander’s fastball velocity was notably down, and it forced the longtime ace to reinvent himself as a pitcher.
The Dodgers helped Kershaw manage the injury by giving him more rest in between starts. It amounted to the three-time Cy Young Award winner exclusively pitching on Saturday from September 16 through the end of the season.
While the strategy initially proved effective, Kershaw endured the shortest start of his career in Game 1 of the National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. There are now questions on whether he will continue his career next season or retire.
Max Muncy believes Kershaw is still capable of pitching at a high level but doesn’t know if he will return to the Dodgers in 2024, via the “Foul Territory” show:
“It’s tough for me to speak on. I’ll say this, if he feels like he can still go out there and compete, he’s probably going to compete. If he feels like he can’t get it done, then that might be it. I don’t know where he’s feeling. I definitely feel like he can still get it done, and I know there’s a lot of people out there who still feel like he can get it done. That’s obviously his decision to make.”
As Kershaw heads into another uncertain offseason, he is expected to consider re-signing with the Dodgers, joining his hometown Texas Rangers or retire.
“I’m not sure about that yet,” answered Kershaw when asked about the 2024 season. “I’m not sure how it’s going to look.”
Kershaw finished 13-5 with a 2.46 ERA, 4.03 FIP and 1.06 WHIP in 24 starts this season. While he dealt with a left shoulder injury, the 35-year-old managed to avoid back trouble that had plagued him over recent years.
Clayton Kershaw’s injured shoulder
After enduring one of the worst outings of his career, Kershaw reportedly is considering undergoing additional tests on his left shoulder, which he injured in late June.
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