The Los Angeles Dodgers will soon welcome their ace back to the rotation.
On Thursday, the Dodgers confirmed Clayton Kershaw will return from the injured list on Monday. He has been out with a shoulder issue since spring training.
Kershaw threw 81 pitches in a Double-A rehab game Tuesday night and, all things considered, everything went well. His fastball velocity was down a touch, which is to be expected because he’s still building arm strength, otherwise the results were good. A veteran like Kershaw goes through the motions and works on things during a rehab start. They don’t chase outs.
The Dodgers currently have three starting pitchers on the injured list. Their rotation depth chart currently shakes out like this:
- Clayton Kershaw (coming back Monday)
- Walker Buehler
- Hyun-Jin Ryu (on the injured list with a groin injury)
- Rich Hill (on the injured list with a knee injury)
- Kenta Maeda
- Julio Urias
- Ross Stripling
Kershaw will effectively replace Ryu, who left his last start with the groin injury. Hill is working his way and is expected back relatively soon, which figures to push Urias to Triple-A. Urias’s workload will be closely monitored this year. It is his first full season following major shoulder capsule surgery.
Since Opening Day 2016, Kershaw has been on the disabled/injured list five times, mostly with back trouble, but also with biceps and shoulder problems. He’s thrown 485 1/3 innings with a 2.26 ERA around those injuries, which is obviously excellent.