Clayton Kershaw may find himself pitching in the United States sometime in the near future. If it were up to him he’d be on the mound tonight.
The Los Angeles Dodgers ace, who was has been on the disabled list with an upper back problem, finally threw a simulated game against live hitters and reported no problems after throwing three full innings at maximum effort. The Dodgers have been extremely cautious with their $215 M, 2-time Cy Young award winner and have held him out far longer than most of us expected. However, now may be the right time for them to loosen the reigns on Kershaw and finally get him back in the rotation.
Assuming that Kershaw feels fine over the course of the next two days, it is extremely likely that he will go on a rehab assignment in the near future. Once Kershaw completes one or two rehab outings, the Dodgers will bring him back to the starting rotation. While the Dodgers starters have pitched very effectively with Kershaw in the rotation, they haven’t been throwing a ton of innings and the bullpen is starting to suffer because of it.
With Kershaw back in the rotation the Dodgers will look very much like the team we thought they would look like before the season. The only causalities of the season will have been A.J. Ellis, who is also progressing quickly, Alexander Guerrero, and Paco Rodriguez, who is inexplicably in the minor leagues instead of Brandon League. Regardless of who is on the team, the Dodgers have started hot and with Clayton Kershaw in tow it looks like things are only getting brighter for the boys in blue.