TODAYKershaw’s MRI revealed no serious damage, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told Fabian Ardaya of the athletic and other reporters. As Roberts put it, this is the “in the best case” for Kershaw’s injury, although a timeline for the southpaw’s return is yet to be announced.
AUGUST 5: The Dodgers have announced that they have been placed Clayton Kershaw on the 15-day injured list, citing low back pain. utility man Chris Taylor is back from his own IL stint to take the vacant active roster spot. Los Angeles also remembered reliever Reyes Moronta from Triple-A Oklahoma City and optional outfielder James Outman.
Kershaw lands on the IL for the second time this season. He lost about a month between early May and June with inflammation in his right hip area. The future Hall of Famer returned and made ten more starts before yesterday’s outing. After pitching four innings of a two-run ball in an eventual win over the Giants, Kershaw took to the mound for his warm-up pitch to start the fifth. He pulled himself out of the game after experiencing some lower back pain, and that problem will apparently keep him out of action for weeks to come.
The team has not given a timeline for Kershaw’s return, and the announced diagnosis of “low back pain” remains vague. They will certainly be careful with the 34-year-old, especially as he has been on the injured list at least once a season since 2016. That included between 2016-18 stints for back pain every year. With a 12 1/2 lead over the Padres in western NL, the Dodgers have been able to feel comfortable playing things slow with key players for the past few months.
While Kershaw no longer takes on the kind of work he did during his prime, he still ranks among the sport’s top pitchers by rates. For 85 1/3 innings this season, the three-time Cy Young winner has a 2.64 ERA with an above average strikeout count of 26.2% and a ground ball percentage of 48.5%. Kershaw’s fastball is in the 90 MPH range, but he arguably possesses the best command in the game and hasn’t given away more than 6% of the batters he’s faced in a season for a decade.
Kershaw’s Journey to the IL Departs Julius Uria, Tony Gonsolin, Tyler Anderson and Andrew Heaney for now the top four of the rotation. Ryan Pepiot and Michael Grove are depth options at Triple-A, and the club seems likely to welcome hard-throwing righty Dustin May back in the not-too-distant future. Manager Dave Roberts told MLB Network Radio this afternoon on SiriusXM that May will likely return in the club’s August 19-21 series against the Marlins (Twitter link). The 24-year-old has been out all season recovering from Tommy John surgery in May 2021, but has been recovering since mid-July. Roberts indicated that he will likely make two more starts in Oklahoma City before returning to the big league, although he left open the possibility that May would rejoin the MLB team after one more Triple-A appearance.
Taylor returns to the starting lineup exactly one month after breaking his left foot. It’s a quick kickback for an injury of that magnitude, and Roberts suggested he get the wink tonight at second base. It will be Taylor’s first field appearance of the season as he has only worked on grass this year. Taylor has logged 502 innings in left field along with 57 and 56 frames in center and right respectively.
Of course, Taylor made a name for himself with his defensive flexibility in previous seasons. He is able to play pretty much anywhere on the diamond except the catcher, and it seems the club is content to get him back on the infield every now and then. Gavin Lux and Trea Turner make for an excellent mid-infield duo, with Max Muncy mainly play at third base as Justin Turner landed on the IL on Tuesday. Taylor will presumably still spend most of his time in the outfield, but the ability to record some action on the sand gives Roberts more flexibility in managing representatives in the field. The 31-year-old will try to get going offensively after his month-long absence, as he has a .238/.319/.409 line with a massive 35.4% strikeout rate over 285 at bats in the year.