Ker­shaw faces an­other re­hab start in mi­nors

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Baseball - BY JORGE CASTILLO

Clay­ton Ker­shaw strolled into the vis­it­ing club­house at Coors Field just af­ter 11 a.m. Fri­day. A group of team­mates gath­ered at a ta­ble wel­comed him. He walked to his locker in the op­po­site cor­ner to be­gin his day af­ter log­ging 41⁄3 in­nings in a re­hab start a few hun­dred miles away in Ok­la­homa City on Thurs­day night.

Ker­shaw could of­fi­cially join the Dodgers dur­ing their cur­rent trip, pos­si­bly next week in St. Louis, but said he will prob­a­bly make a sec­ond re­hab start in the mi­nors be­fore com­ing off the 10-day in­jured list af­ter a bout with shoul­der in­flam­ma­tion. Man­ager Dave Roberts con­firmed that was a likely sce­nario. He said where that sec­ond out­ing will oc­cur hasn’t been de­ter­mined, but that a re­turn by Ker­shaw to Ok­la­homa City was likely. Be­fore that, the star left­hander was to throw a bullpen ses­sion Satur­day in Den­ver.

“I think the big­gest thing is, just the way the sea­son started, you can’t re­ally have shorter out­ings just be­cause our bullpen’s go­ing to be taxed with guys go­ing shorter al­ready,” Ker­shaw said. “So def­i­nitely don’t want to do that. I’d love to be able to throw 100 pitches when I come back, so we’ll see what hap­pens.”

On Thurs­day, Ker­shaw al­lowed two runs on four hits in Ok­la­homa City’s open­ing day game against the San An­to­nio Mis­sions. He struck out six and walked two. He gave up a home run on his first pitch of the sec­ond in­ning but said he “felt bet­ter” start­ing in the third.

Roberts re­ported that Ker­shaw’s fast­ball touched 91 mph and sat be­tween 88 and 91 for the en­tire out­ing. He said it was “a tick up” from his ve­loc­ity in spring train­ing, which was lim­ited to bullpen and live bat­ting-prac­tice ses­sions. Ker­shaw in­sisted that he wasn’t wor­ried about the read­ings.

“The main thing for Clay­ton, for me, isn’t his ve­loc­ity,” Roberts said. “It’s his ex­e­cu­tion.”

Ker­shaw main­tained that Thurs­day’s game was about con­firm­ing he is healthy. He said he emerged be­liev­ing he is. The next step is build­ing up the pitch count be­fore tak­ing his spot in the Dodgers’ ro­ta­tion.

“Felt good about it and now I kind of hone in on the stuff, make sure ev­ery­thing is where I want it to be and be ready to go,” Ker­shaw said.

SUE OGROCKI AP

Clay­ton Ker­shaw, play­ing for the Ok­la­homa City Dodgers, pitches against the San An­to­nio Mis­sions on Thurs­day. Ker­shaw pitched 41⁄3 in­nings in the re­hab start.

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