Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Although Clayton Kershaw provided the Los Angeles Dodgers with another strong start on Tuesday, his outing against the Colorado Rockies was cut short due to an unspecified health issue.
After finishing off the sixth inning, Kershaw appeared to signal to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts he could no longer remain in the game. He only threw 79 pitches and held the Rockies to just one hit and one walk over six scoreless innings.
Speaking with media after the Dodgers’ shutout win, Kershaw only said he didn’t feel fully healthy and believed he made the right decision by no longer pitching. The 35-year-old added he expected to make his next scheduled start.
Although details still had not been provided Wednesday, manager Dave Roberts said Justin Bruihl is on the Dodgers taxi squad in the event Kershaw needs to go on the injured list, according to Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
Justin Bruihl is here on taxi squad “in case” move is made with Kershaw per #Dodgers Dave Roberts
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) June 28, 2023
Bruihl was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City on June 3 as the corresponding move to the Dodgers activating Michael Grove off the 15-day IL.
Bruihl is 1-0 with a 4.41 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in 14 games for the Dodgers this season. His inflated ERA is due to back-to-back appearances of allowing two runs and three runs, respectively. He otherwise has allowed more than two runs in only one other appearance.
The 26-year-old is 4-0 with one save, a 1.23 ERA and 0.89 WHIP in 12 games for Oklahoma City.
Bruihl has been optioned three times, meaning the Dodgers can only do so twice more as part of MLB roster rules capping Minor League options at five per season. If the Dodgers found themselves in that position, Bruihl would need to be placed on waivers.
Dodgers options if Clayton Kershaw injured
Because Julio Urías is returning to the rotation this weekend, Kershaw is projected to start Monday and again July 8 before the All-Star break. However, the Dodgers could look to provide him with additional rest or time to recover early next week by inserting a spot starter or relying on a bullpen game.
Of course, that would be rendered moot in the event Kershaw needs to go on the IL. He’s previously been sidelined by various back injuries during the 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020 and 2022 seasons.
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