Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw “didn’t feel great” on Sunday following a 60-pitch simulated game on Saturday, tweets Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times. Kershaw will be shut down until his back pain subsides, manager Dave Roberts told the L.A. media, and his return to the Dodgers’ rotation is “uncertain.” Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register tweets that Kershaw hasn’t picked up a ball since Saturday and will have his back re-examined in the next day or two.
Suffice it to say, that’s not the type of update the Dodgers were hoping to provide following Kershaw’s most recent throwing session. His uncertain timeline further compounds the depleted starting pitching depth for a Dodgers club that was forced to place Hyun-jin Ryu back on the disabled list earlier today with soreness in his left elbow. With Kershaw’s apparent setback and Ryu back on the disabled list, the Dodgers will once again turn to Julio Urias, tweets McCullough, who notes that Bud Norris will make the start for the Dodgers tomorrow with Urias going on Thursday.
The Dodgers, then, will have a rotation consisting of Norris, Urias, Brandon McCarthy, Scott Kazmir and Kenta Maeda for the time being. Names like Brock Stewart, Mike Bolsinger, Carlos Frias and Ross Stripling await as depth at the minor league level, with Brett Anderson and Alex Wood looming as eventual possibilities on the Major League disabled list. However, the Dodgers have also been connected to Rays starters Jake Odorizzi, Matt Moore and Chris Archer in recent weeks (each of whom president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman knows well from his days as GM of the Rays) and has also been linked to Rich Hill this week. While there’s no reason yet to get overly speculative about Kershaw’s injury status, one has to imagine that any further bad news from his upcoming examination would only hasten Friedman and his staff’s efforts to add to the team’s rotation picture.