Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
After beginning the regular season in the Opening Day rotation because of injuries to Tony Gonsolin and Ryan Pepiot, Michael Grove has more recently been in a state of flux.
That remains the case again Monday as the Dodgers are still in a holding pattern with Clayton Kershaw. He asked to come out of a start last Tuesday due to left shoulder inflammation that was treated with a cortisone injection.
Kershaw didn’t resume throwing until Saturday as he waited for the shot to take effect. Kershaw played catch again on Sunday but his status for making a scheduled start in the series opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates is unclear.
Due to the uncertainty, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Grove will meet the team at Dodger Stadium on Monday and be recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City in order to pitch if Kershaw needs to go on the 15-day injured list, via SportsNet LA:
“I think right now the plan is to get Michael Grove to pitch the bulk, whether it’s a start or to come in, but we’re going to bring him. We’ll see how Clayton is, but right now, Michael is going to be on his way. So at least we know we’re going to get to that point and if we have to make the decision to active him, we’ll do that.”
Considering Kershaw hasn’t thrown a bullpen session since his last start and didn’t incorporate any curveballs or sliders while playing catch from flat ground, it would appear unlikely the longtime ace is in position to take the mound Monday even if there was some progress over the weekend.
Kershaw going on the IL would cause him to miss two starts during the unofficial first half of the season, but also provide him with more than two weeks time of rest and recovery before pitching again after the All-Star break.
Michael Grove open to bullpen role
As for Grove, he may again be utilized after an opener if needed to pitch Monday. That would be a third different role for the right-hander in his past three games with the Dodgers.
On June 23, Grove appeared out of the bullpen in a high-leverage situation, then he started at Coors Field five days later. The 26-year-old last followed an opener on June 9, but then made a regular start six days later.
Grove has expressed a willingness to pitch in any role that best suits the Dodgers.