Kershaw faces another rehab start in minors
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.
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.