Ker­shaw throws bullpen ses­sion

Los Angeles Times - - BASEBALL - By Andy McCul­lough andy.mccul­lough@la­times.com Twit­ter: @McCul­loughTimes

Dodgers ace Clay­ton Ker­shaw pitched off a mound on Fri­day af­ter­noon for the first time since in­jur­ing his back on July 23. Side­lined with a lower back strain for the last three weeks, Ker­shaw in­di­cated the ses­sion went “fine” af­ter throw­ing about 35 pitches be­fore a se­ries opener against San Diego.

“It went bet­ter than fine for us,” man­ager Dave Roberts said. “For us to get out of it un­scathed, to feel good about it, very good. He used his en­tire mix. Ob­vi­ously with him, the ex­e­cu­tion piece, he al­ways ex­pects per­fec­tion out of him­self, which is great.”

Ker­shaw is ex­pected to throw an­other bullpen ses­sion within the next two to three days, Roberts said. From there, the team will eval­u­ate whether he is ready to be­gin a mi­nor league re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion as­sign­ment. Ker­shaw is likely to pitch in a live set­ting at least once be­fore the team ac­ti­vates him from the dis­abled list.

Ker­shaw has said he hopes to make a hand­ful of starts be­fore the play­offs be­gin. Gon­za­lez, Ethier headed to Ran­cho

An­dre Ethier and Adrian Gon­za­lez, two vet­eran Dodgers re­cov­er­ing from her­ni­ated disks, will join class-A Ran­cho Cu­ca­monga on Satur­day, Roberts said.

Gon­za­lez hit .308 with a home run and six RBIs in five games with triple-A Ok­la­homa City. He is ex­pected to re­join the Dodgers be­fore Ethier, who has not played this sea­son. Ethier is un­likely to be ac­ti­vated be­fore ros­ters ex­pand Sept. 1. A test for Day­ton

Grant Day­ton, who has been side­lined with neck is­sues sev­eral times this sea­son, threw a bullpen ses­sion Fri­day af­ter­noon in front of a large au­di­ence that in­cluded Roberts and Pres­i­dent of Base­ball Op­er­a­tions An­drew Fried­man.

Roberts sounded im­pressed with the per­for­mance. Day­ton has strug­gled to repli­cate the suc­cess he had in 2016, when he emerged as the team’s pri­mary left-handed re­liever in October. He has not pitched for the Dodgers since July 24 and is on the dis­abled list be­cause of neck stiff­ness. Short hops

The Dodgers ac­ti­vated re­liever Luis Avi­lan from the pa­ter­nity list be­fore Fri­day’s game. Brock Ste­wart was op­tioned to Ok­la­homa City. Avi­lan missed the se­ries in Ari­zona af­ter the birth of his first child, a boy named Se­bas­tian An­dres . . . . Re­liever Chris Hatcher, who has been side­lined by tho­racic in­flam­ma­tion, was with the team Fri­day. Roberts in­di­cated the Dodgers would con­sider ac­ti­vat­ing Hatcher this week­end.

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