Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is heading back to Los Angeles to meet with a specialist (Dr. Robert Watkins) about his ailing back, as MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick writes. Kershaw experienced some soreness in his back following Sunday’s loss, and manager Dave Roberts told the media that Kershaw’s lower back has been somewhat of an issue for the past few weeks. Roberts said the team is still optimistic that Kershaw will make his upcoming start on Friday, though that can’t be certain until he undergoes further examination. Kershaw is in the midst of arguably his best season ever, having recorded a 1.79 ERA, 10.8 K/9, 0.7 BB/9 and a 49.8 percent ground-ball rate through an MLB-best 121 innings thus far.
A few more injury items from around the league…
- An MRI of Stephen Strasburg’s back revealed “nothing serious,” Nationals manager Dusty Baker told reporters, including Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post (Twitter link). While the Nats have yet to receive an official diagnosis on the injury, Baker said the initial results have made the organization feel better about the injury that landed Strasburg on the 15-day disabled list this weekend. There’s no word on exactly how long Strasburg will be out, but the lack of a serious injury suggests that it could be a fairly brief stay on the DL.
- The Rays have placed closer Alex Colome on the 15-day disabled list with what has been diagnosed as medial right biceps tendinitis, reports Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. That’s the second closer on the disabled list for Tampa Bay, though Colome’s absence from team looks like it will be considerably shorter than that of fellow closer Brad Boxberger. Topkin writes that Colome’s DL stint is retroactive to June 19, and the right-hander is hoping to return to action as soon as he is eligible on Monday of next week.
- Shi Davidi of Sportsnet reports that the Blue Jays will be without right-hander Gavin Floyd for a prolonged period of time, as Floyd has been diagnosed with a tear in his right lat muscle (Twitter link). Floyd hasn’t been dominant for the Jays this season, but he’s turned in 31 innings of 4.06 ERA ball and averaged 8.7 K/9 against 2.3 BB/9 with a 42.2 percent ground-ball rate out of the Toronto bullpen. The extent of the tear and the projected length of his absence are not yet known.
- Justin Morneau feels that he can be ready to join the White Sox after about 30 at-bats on a minor league rehab assignment, he tells Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago (Twitter link). Levine estimates that Morneau will be ready to join the big league roster around July 15. Morneau tells the St. Paul Pioneer Press’ Mike Berardino (Twitter link) that he’s hoping to begin a rehab assignment next week and be in uniform with the Sox soon after the All-Star break. Chicago signed Morneau to a one-year contract earlier this month.
- Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News provides updates on several injured Rangers. Per Grant, Yu Darvish will face hitters in a simulated game tomorrow, as will right-hander Keone Kela, who has missed the majority of the season after undergoing surgery to remove a bone spur from his elbow earlier this year. Beyond that, Grant adds that Derek Holland isn’t traveling with the team on this road trip and isn’t likely to pitch before the All-Star break. Kela is a bit over two months into his projected three-month recovery timeline, and his eventual return could be a boon for a Rangers bullpen that has seen its share of struggles in 2016.