A red flag has been raised for the Los Angeles Dodgers’ championship hopes. Ace Clayton Kershaw, 35, doesn’t seem to be feeling well. His fastball didn’t touch 90 mph (144.8 km/h) in his last start, and his scheduled start was canceled.
According to MLB.com on Nov. 11, Kershaw will not start against the San Diego Padres on Nov. 12. Instead, right-handed prospect Gavin Stone will start in his place. Kershaw will make his next start on April 16, four days later than scheduled, against the Seattle Mariners. He will be on nine days’ rest.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of the rescheduling of Kershaw’s start, “It has nothing to do with injury. It’s about getting the rotation ready for the postseason, and he agreed to it.” “He’s going to try to stay sharp. It’s not a bad decision.”
Roberts emphasized that it’s not an injury, but few are buying it. In his last start, on April 6 against the Miami Marlins, Kershaw struggled, allowing three runs on five hits (two homers) with five walks and three strikeouts in five innings, with his four-seam fastball only reaching 89.9 mph (144.7 km/h).
Kershaw’s velocity has been declining since he entered his 30s due to nagging back pain and a string of shoulder, forearm, and other injuries, but it’s never been this low. He’s averaged 90.9 mph (146.3 km/h) on his four-seam fastball this year, but has hit back-to-back season lows of 89.5 mph (144.0 km/h) and 88.2 mph (141.9 km/h) in his last two games. The decline in velocity is pronounced.
Kershaw is 12-4 with a 2.61 ERA and 123 strikeouts in 21 games (117⅓ innings) this season, but he missed a month after going on the disabled list in late June with shoulder soreness. He is 2-0 with a 2.86 ERA in five games (22 innings) since returning from the disabled list on March 11, but has been managed by pitching five innings or less.
There are still signs that he’s not over the shoulder soreness. After his last start against Miami, Roberts said, “This is not an ideal situation for Kershaw. The shoulder is affecting his velocity and command,” Roberts said after the last game. His velocity is down, but so is his command. In his last two starts, he’s gone five innings and allowed three walks and five hits. 바카라
Kershaw reiterated that he “feels fine” and was confident that he wouldn’t consider resting, but he ended up skipping one start. He’s expected to make three more regular-season starts, and he needs to be as healthy as possible.
The Dodgers will be without Julio Urias for the rest of the season, let alone the postseason, as he is on administrative leave for domestic violence charges. Walker Buehler, who is in the final stages of rehabilitation from Tommy John surgery, has opted not to return for the remainder of the season and will look forward to next year. The team is relying heavily on rookies Bobby Miller, Emmitt Schoen, and Ryan Pepiot, none of whom have fall ball experience. Even veteran Lance Lynn, who was acquired in a trade, has been struggling lately, so the team needs Kershaw to bounce back. Without Kershaw, the Dodgers can’t win a championship.