Clayton Kershaw was with the Dodgers at Busch Stadium on Monday, one day before he will head to Tulsa, Okla., to make his second rehab start for the organization’s double-A affiliate. If he emerges healthy from the performance Tuesday, his next outing will be in a Dodger uniform.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the plan is for Kershaw, who began the season on the 10-day injured list with shoulder inflammation, to make his season debut at Dodger Stadium either Sunday on regular rest against the Milwaukee Brewers or Monday against the Cincinnati Reds.
“We’ll kind of let him get through his start,” Roberts said, “and we’ll plug him in where it makes the most sense.”
Roberts expects Kershaw to log five or six innings Tuesday against the Springfield Cardinals, the St. Louis Cardinals’ double-A club. The left-hander gave up two runs in 4⅓ innings for triple-A Oklahoma City on Thursday in his first game action of 2019. Kershaw’s shoulder inflammation, which forced him to stop throwing in late February, set him back far enough to give him time to appear in a game in spring training.
Kershaw will take Julio Urias’ spot in the rotation when he returns, pushing Urias to the bullpen after his scheduled start against the Brewers on Friday. Urias allowed three runs on four hits in 3⅔ innings against the Colorado Rockies on Sunday. He will pitch multiple innings as a reliever, supplying a formidable arm capable of finishing games.
Bellinger named NL player of the week
Cody Bellinger was recognized for his blistering start to the season Monday when he was named the National League player of the week. Bellinger, 23, went 10 for 24 with three home runs and 10 runs batted in over six games. He led the majors with seven home runs and 18 RBIs entering Monday. He is the second player in history to compile at least that many home runs and RBIs in his team’s first 10 games. Willie Mays was the first in 1964.
“I think obviously when you’re getting rewarded on the field for your stats and the accolades with national player of the week, that kind of builds that confidence,” Roberts said. “I read somewhere that Cody said he doesn’t want to believe the hype. That’s a good thing. He’s in a good space right now. The process is good, the results are good.”
Goldschmidt draws high praise
For the past seven seasons, the Dodgers have witnessed, usually to their detriment, Paul Goldschmidt play against them 19 times a season for the Arizona Diamondbacks. They watched the first baseman’s rise from undistinguished prospect to superstar with a healthy respect. And they’re happy he’s now out of the National League West and a member of the Cardinals, who will face the Dodgers seven times this season.
“Seven is much better than 19,” Roberts said. “If you look at opponents, he is in the top three of my favorite players in the game. So I’m happy I only see him seven times. We’re not going to let this guy beat us. But I just love everything about Paul Goldschmidt.”