Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers elected to scale back in the time since Clayton Kershaw withdrew from pitching for Team USA in the 2023 World Baseball Classic due to a reported failure to secure an insurance policy, which has prevented him from appearing in a Cactus League game.
Manager Dave Roberts brushed aside any concern and explained the Dodgers simply believed it was the best approach for the 34-year-old. Kershaw threw multiple bullpen sessions before advancing to facing hitters on a backfield at Camelback Ranch last week, which included pitching to Mookie Betts and Will Smith.
Kershaw remained on a five-day routine over the past couple weeks and now is scheduled to pitch in a game.
However, that’s still coming on the backfields, as he’s started in a B game, according to Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
#Dodgers Clayton Kershaw will be pitching in a B game this morning
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) March 5, 2023
Kershaw’s outing is expected to be three innings against players from the Chicago White Sox organization, which suggests he’ll be prepared to go four or five upon making it into his first Cactus League game of the year.
That also indicates the left-hander has continued to build up despite not yet making it into game action before Sunday.
At the time of announcing his withdrawal from the WBC, Kershaw asserted he is healthy and that’s a sentiment Roberts has echoed as well.
Dodgers still have Vargas on pause
Miguel Vargas has regularly been in the Dodgers lineup since sustaining a hairline fracture in his right pinky, but he’s not been cleared to swing the bat in games.
The Dodgers initially expected that would take place Saturday, however Vargas was again relegated to just tracking pitches. He has continued to make starts while recovering in order to gain experience at second base.
According to Jack Harris of the L.A. Times, the Dodgers are hopeful Vargas will start swinging in games on Wednesday:
Manager Dave Roberts said the team is targeting Wednesday as the first day Vargas will swing in a game again.
Despite not being allowed to swing a bat in Cactus League play, Vargas has drawn four walks in 10 plate appearances.
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