Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw making progress, but still far from return to majors

In what has become a ritual for the woebegone Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw played catch Tuesday afternoon.

He has not pitched in a game since May 1, sidelined by biceps tendinitis, but he has been able to play catch up to 60 feet for several days.


Manager Dave Roberts observed Kershaw's latest session and said he was happy with the progress of the left-hander's rehabilitation. The team has not set a date for Kershaw's return.

Roberts said he expected Kershaw to continue on a progression that would require him to throw from a distance of 150 feet before he could be cleared to throw a bullpen session. Roberts does not expect Kershaw to pitch off a mound during the team's trip to Miami and Washington.

"I'm hopeful that it continues to progress the way it should," Roberts said.

Kershaw has spent time on the disabled list in each of the last three seasons. He suffered a herniated disk in his lower back in 2016 and dealt with a back muscle strain in 2017. This is his first significant arm injury. An MRI exam revealed no structural damage to his shoulder, the team said. Kershaw has suggested errors in his mechanics may have caused the discomfort.

The Dodgers have not discussed with Kershaw the prospect of making a rehabilitation start. Kershaw prefers to pitch in the majors, but he required rehab outings in 2016 and 2017. The team will broach the subject once Kershaw gets closer to returning.

"Obviously we're leaving it in his hands to see how aggressive we want to be," Roberts said. "But I think this weather, with the heat, is conducive to that. I'm encouraged right now. Hopefully it continues to get better."

Short hops

The Dodgers optioned infielder-catcher Kyle Farmer and outfielder Tim Locastro to the minors to make room for the activation of third baseman Justin Turner and second baseman Logan Forsythe from the disabled list. Farmer hit .230 in 30 games; Locastro hit .182 in 14 plate appearances. … Turner is expected to get a day off Thursday, Roberts said.

Twitter: @McCulloughTimes