The hits just keep on coming for the Los Angeles Dodgers and this might be the most discouraging based on the high hopes fans had in the early going.
Clayton Kershaw was placed on the injured list Friday (he was supposed to start against the Phillies Friday night) with “right SI joint inflammation” and Garrett Cleavinger was recalled to take his roster spot.
For those unfamiliar with SI joint injuries, it’s an issue with the pelvis. The SI joint links the pelvis with the lower part of the spine, which can obvious create pain in the lower back and/or down the legs. Given Kershaw’s history with back issues (herniated disc, back spasms, back strain/stiffness) over the last few years, this doesn’t appear to be serious.
However, it does create more concern regarding his longevity, especially for this season. He hasn’t made 30 or more starts in a season since 2015 and dealt with a serious elbow injury as early as last year.
Given the Dodgers’ thin rotation and the importance of Kershaw’s presence down the stretch/in the postseason, might the organization exercise as much caution as possible for the remainder of the year?
It’s not out of the question to assume Kershaw potentially having to compromise with an ailing back might affect his arm/elbow, which could create nagging/longer-term issues. It’s unclear how this might limit him as the season progresses.
While this might be a bit excessive to ponder … will this keep him from performing at the All-Star Game in Los Angeles (assuming he’s voted in)?
Dodgers star Clayton Kershaw has been placed on the injured list
Kershaw was on a crash course to be the starter for the NL All-Star team assuming his play continued. In 2022, he’s a perfect 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA, 0.73 WHIP and 32 strikeouts across five starts (30 innings) — a big reason the Dodgers lead all of baseball in ERA.
But depending upon the severity and how this might impact his outlook for full-ish season workload, the home crowd in LA might be deprived of seeing their ace take the bump in the Midsummer Classic.
The ultimate silver lining here is that the injury has nothing to do with his arm/shoulder and that he’s battled back from hip/back injuries plenty of times in the past, so it’s not like the Dodgers’ World Series bid is in jeopardy.
But for the first time in his career (and for the first time since 1980!) the All-Star Game is at Dodger Stadium, and it’d sure be iconic for him to check that accomplishment off his Hall of Fame resume. If that has the potential to interrupt the team’s road to a title, though, don’t be surprised if it’s off the table for preservation purposes.