Dodgers go cautious: Clayton Kershaw will make a second rehab start

Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw smiles before a game against the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday. Kershaw threw a bullpen session prior to Sunday's game against the Colorado Rockies.
(Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

Clayton Kershaw likes to win. He’s absolutely used to winning, as his two Cy Young awards attest. Yet he lost one battle Sunday, without ever taking the mound.

The Dodgers brought down the hammer, telling Kershaw that despite his campaigning otherwise, he will make another rehab start before rejoining the rotation.

And don’t think for a moment the competitive Kershaw was happy about it.

“Not really, but I did the best I could,” Kershaw said. “But I’m not going to fight the team if everybody doesn’t want me to do something. It’s what they want me to do.”


Kershaw has made one rehab start since going on the disabled list because of a strained upper back muscle March 30. He went five innings Friday for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga, allowing one fifth-inning run and throwing 56 pitches.

But the Dodgers are understandably concerned that he needs to be stretched out longer before being able to jump back into the rotation.

“We want to get him [in] his next start to that 75-80 pitch range, where he’s able to go out and compete and be at 90, 95 when he’s ready to start,” Manager Don Mattingly said.

Kershaw threw a bullpen session before Sunday’s game and said he came out if fine.

“I feel normal,” Kershaw said. “I guess that’s kind of the hard part, is going to pitch another [rehab] game when you feel healthy.

“I think I’m ready.”

The Dodgers have not officially announced where his rehab start will be, though it’s expected to be Wednesday at double-A Chattanooga.