Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw will return to the team on Tuesday to face the Washington Nationals.
Kershaw said his bullpen session is tomorrow, indicating he starts Tuesday, not Monday.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) May 2, 2014
Kershaw initially went on the disabled list after his first start of the season in Australia against the Arizona Diamondbacks with inflammation in his back. In his only start this season, Kershaw went 6.2 innings, gave up 5 hits, 1 run and struck out seven while grabbing his first win of the year.
The Dodgers are 17-12 on the season after sweeping the Minnesota Twins. Now, with Kershaw back in the fold, the Dodgers all almost at full strength, only missing A.J. Ellis from the starting lineup.
Kershaw has been itching to get back to the mound and was ready to come back to the team after one rehab start. However, the Dodgers thought it would be best to bring their ace along slowly and save his arm for the time being. Kershaw made his second, and final, rehab start for the Class AA Chattanooga, on Wednesday. In that start he went five innings, striking out nine. He gave up six hits, including three doubles, and two walks in 86 pitches. He surrendered two runs, one earned. While he gave up more hits than he would have liked, he apparently had command of all his pitches and was dominant at time, as one would expect.
In his absence, the Dodgers starting pitchers have more or less picked up the slack. Zack Greinke and Dan Haren are a combined 9-0 so far this season, while Hyun-jin Ryu has looked like an ace as well. Even Josh Beckett has pitched relatively well. The bullpen; however, is another issue entirely. The Dodgers are hoping that Kershaw will relieve their overworked bullpen by going deep into games. Kershaw will likely start on a 90-100 pitch limit against the Washington Nationals.