8:39pm: The diagnosis of biceps tendinitis has been confirmed by an MRI, according to several reporters (including The Athletic’s Pedro Moura). Kershaw will begin his injury rehab tomorrow.
7:28pm: Kershaw has already met with Dr. ElAttrache, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick tweets, and the Dodgers are hopeful of getting the test results either tonight or tomorrow.
1:52pm: Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman discussed Kershaw’s injury with reporters, saying there’s “no indication it’s anything more serious than biceps tendinitis” (via Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register).
11:43am: The Dodgers have placed left-hander Clayton Kershaw on the disabled list with biceps tendinitis, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times tweets. Kershaw’s headed back to Los Angeles to be examined by famed surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache, McCullough adds. The team will replace him on the 25-man roster with righty Brock Stewart, whom it recalled from Triple-A.
While it’s not yet clear just how serious this injury is, seeing arguably the top starter in the game go down with an arm issue is obviously cause for alarm – especially given his career workload (2,101 innings, including playoffs). Moreover, this marks the third straight season in which Kershaw has hit the DL, as hip and back issues prevented him from enjoying full campaigns in 2016 and ’17. Still, unless this is a catastrophic injury, Kershaw’s recent durability concerns won’t necessarily stop him from opting out of the two years and $65MM remaining on his contract after the season. However, they could give the Dodgers and other teams pause if the 30-year-old reaches the open market in search of a megadeal.
While Kershaw’s future will be sorted out during the winter, the Dodgers are currently focused on trying to rebound from a surprisingly poor start. The reigning National League champions came out of the gates at just 15-18 with a healthy Kershaw, putting them seven games behind the NL West-leading Diamondbacks. Injuries were partly to blame for the Dodgers’ struggles even before Kershaw went down, as they’ve seen several household names hit the DL this season in Justin Turner, Corey Seager, Logan Forsythe, Yasiel Puig, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Rich Hill. Seager, LA’s star shortstop, won’t play again this year after undergoing Tommy John surgery last month, while a left groin strain will prevent Ryu from returning until after the All-Star break.
Fortunately for the Dodgers, Hill will come back Tuesday from a finger injury that has kept him out since mid-April. But that can’t be of much consolation to LA, which has encountered almost nothing but bad luck since Turner broke his wrist in late March. As the Dodgers hope for good news on Kershaw, who has pitched to a typically stellar ERA (2.86) over 44 innings this year, they’ll go forth with a rotation consisting of Hill, Alex Wood, rookie sensation Walker Buehler, Kenta Maeda and Ross Stripling (depth chart).