Kershaw’s return likely to happen sooner than expected

When Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw exited his game after only two innings against the Atlanta Braves on July 23, it was very obvious that there was something seriously wrong with his lower back which, of course, left his manager, teammates and Dodger fans fearing the worst. Visions of a prolonged stint on the disabled list simply could not be eliminated given his history of back issues. Sure enough, the diagnosis was right lower back tightness resulting in the 29-year-old Dallas, Texas native immediately being placed on the 10-day disabled list, but for how long was anyone’s guess.

To their credit and in what can only be described as pulling a rabbit out of their collective hat, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, general manager Farhan Zaidi and scouting director Billy Gasparino somehow … somehow managed to lure four-time All-Star left-hander Yu Darvish away from the Texas Rangers in the final minutes before the July 31 trade deadline to fill the void (as best as could be expected, that is) created by seven-time All-Star Clayton Kershaw landing on the DL with an uncertain return date.

All the 30-year-old Darvish has done in his two starts thus far with the Dodgers is post a 2-0 record, a 1.50 ERA, while becoming the first Dodger starter since Karl Spooner in 1954 to strike out 10 or more batters in each of his first two Dodger starts.

But for anyone who has followed Kershaw’s career closely, and let’s face it, who hasn’t, the three-time National League Cy Young award winner and 2014 NL MVP is like a bull in a china shop when it comes to easing his way through a DL stint. As such, and as a surprise to absolutely no one, theĀ 6′-4″ / 228-pound hard-throwing lefty threw a 35-pitch bullpen session on Friday afternoon at Dodger Stadium that Dodgers manager Dave Roberts proclaimed was “better than fine.” The Dodger skipper added that his ace will throw another bullpen session in two or three days.

While the general consensus among Dodger fans is that with a 16-game lead in the NL West, there is absolutely no need whatsoever for Kershaw to rush his was back into the Dodgers starting rotation. Then again, if the extremely fierce competitor in indeed 100 percent healthy, good luck trying to keep him out of baseball’s best starting rotation.

Although out of the frame, Dave Roberts, Andrew Friedman, Farhan Zaidi and new Dodger Yu Darvish joined pitching coach Rick Honeycutt to watch Kershaw’s bullpen session on Friday afternoon at Dodger Stadium.
(Photo credit – Ryan Walton / True Blue LA)

As expected, Roberts gave no indication as to when the best pitcher on the planet might return to action. That being said, there is every reason to believe that it will happen far sooner than even he had initially expected.

Better than fine indeed.

 

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3 Responses to “Kershaw’s return likely to happen sooner than expected”

  1. BDN says:

    It’s great to watch Darvish. During the second game vs. AZ, there was a shot of him next to Kershaw. His eyes were on CK the whole time. He is playing with one of very best, and his observervations prove he is a student of the game. Exciting time for the Dodgers!

  2. oldbrooklynfan says:

    I think we’re all hoping Kershaw can get back as soon as possible but I think we all know that with the present 16 game lead, there’s plenty of time to wait and make sure that the lefty is truly ready to return.

    • Respect the Rivalry says:

      I would like to see Kersh get a shot at 20 W’s, but it seems everybody on the Dodgers embrace the team’s goals above their own. That’s the way it should be.
      Both could happen.

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