Clayton Kershaw injury setback could put Dodgers in difficult situation
Clayton Kershaw’s comeback season with the Los Angeles Dodgers started off so promisingly. In fact, “promising” isn’t nearly a strong enough descriptor to reflect how dominant the Hall of Fame left-hander looked while bidding for a no-hitter in frigid Minnesota in his first start of 2022 on April 13.
After missing the 2021 postseason with elbow damage (though MRIs showed a clean ligament), Kershaw signed a one-year deal with the Dodgers and welcomed himself back to action with seven perfect innings and 13 strikeouts.
At that apex, Dave Roberts removed him out of an abundance of caution, giving the bullpen a chance to complete the team’s first-ever Combined Perfecto. Kershaw agreed with the decision (even after the ‘pen surrendered a hit the next inning), while baseball’s previous generation (and even some modern statheads) railed about how the decision felt right, but smelled bad.
How could Roberts and Co. guarantee that they’d saved Kershaw’s valuable left arm by pulling him one or two innings, maximum, ahead of schedule? Baseball’s unpredictable, after all. Besides, there would be no way to discernibly tie a September injury to overexertion while chasing history back in April.
Unfortunately, within a month, Kershaw’s body laid waste to the best-laid plans of the organization, rendering the already-frustrating argument moot.
Kershaw received an epidural last Thursday and remains on the IL dealing with “SI joint inflammation,” though the lefty has been cagey about just how much pain he’s in. It’s still enough, though, to cancel a scheduled bullpen session for Wednesday, per Roberts.
Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw bullpen session indefinitely postponed
As recently as Monday, Roberts expressed optimism about Kershaw’s path back, indicating he’d play catch in an effort to see if the soreness might dissipate before ramping things up on Wednesday.
Instead, Roberts declared on Tuesday that Kershaw’s pain still lingers, likely putting a kibosh on the rest of the team’s timeline.
Through five starts in 2022, the 34-year-old is 4-0 with a resurgent 1.80 ERA. You never know when history might be made, and you never know when it might be cut off.