Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw seemingly to avoid going on injured list

Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw works in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies on June 27, 2023, in Denver.
Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw pitches in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday in Denver.
(Justin Edmonds / Getty Images)

The Dodgers provided little, if any, clarity on Clayton Kershaw’s condition Wednesday, but whatever is ailing the veteran left-hander in the wake of his six-inning, one-hit effort Tuesday night against the Colorado Rockies will apparently not send him to the injured list.

Kershaw was not available before Wednesday night’s game against the Rockies, but manager Dave Roberts said the three-time National League Cy Young Award winner completed his normal post-start, Day One workout in the afternoon and is expected to make his next start.

“We haven’t figured out yet what day it is … but I think today was actually good,” Roberts said. “I’m encouraged considering what he did today.”


Clayton Kershaw pitched six scoreless innings while J.D. Martinez hit career homer 300 as the Dodgers beat the Colorado Rockies 5-0 on Tuesday in Denver.

June 27, 2023

Kershaw faced the minimum 18 batters and threw only 79 pitches in the 5-0 win, but they were at high altitude on a 90-degree night. After Brenton Doyle broke up Kershaw’s no-hitter with two outs in the sixth inning, it was clear the ace couldn’t continue.

“I just needed to come out there,” Kershaw said after the game. “I think I’ll be all right. It’s just something where I was trying to do the right thing.”

Roberts declined to pinpoint a specific injury Wednesday but said, “It’s not his back.” Kershaw went on the disabled list twice because of lower-back injuries last season. He also missed the final two months of the 2021 regular season and the postseason because of an elbow injury.

Could Roberts say if the injury was arm-related?

“I can’t, I won’t,” Roberts said. “I’ll let him talk about it.”

Is it something Kershaw has had before?

“That’s totally reasonable,” Roberts said.

Kershaw, the only pitcher from the opening-day rotation to not go on the injured list, is 10-4 with a 2.55 ERA in 16 starts on the season and 4-1 with a 1.09 ERA in his last five games.

He will have only one more start before the All-Star break. The Dodgers could give him three weeks off by combining an injured list stint now with the break — a period in which he would miss only one start — but Kershaw, ever the bulldog, does not seem open to that idea.

Miguel Vargas was becoming a more proficient defender at a position he made only 27 starts at in five minor league seasons. Then he suddenly forgot how to hit.

June 28, 2023

“For me, I wouldn’t be totally opposed to that given what he’s done for us in the first half,” Roberts said. “But having a conversation with him, that might be different. And with what he’s done, he has earned that right to be in the conversation.”


Kershaw, 35, has been known to plow through soreness and fatigue and minor injuries to stay in games, sometimes to his detriment, but Roberts was grateful that he essentially pulled himself from Tuesday night’s game.

“I think it’s one of those things where you start to get a better understanding of how your body feels and your limitations,” Roberts said, “which is obviously best for our ballclub.”