Clayton Kershaw will return to the Dodgers rotation Friday in San Diego, 40 days after he exited his last start because of a strain in his lower back.
After reporting continued good health following his Saturday rehab start with triple-A Oklahoma City, the ace left-hander will fly to Arizona to meet the Dodgers on Monday. There, he’ll take part in the team’s hotly anticipated annual fantasy football draft.
Because major league rules allow rosters to expand by 60% beginning Sept. 1, the Dodgers will not be required to make a corresponding move when they activate Kershaw.
They have a doubleheader scheduled for Saturday. Yu Darvish, who started Sunday in his first game back from the disabled list, is likely to pitch in one of those games. Manager Dave Roberts was unwilling to confirm that Sunday.
The team will need a sixth starter to fill in the other game, and, amid a 17-game, 16-day stretch that begins Tuesday, they could stick to a six-man rotation for the next few weeks.
“I see it as a very good possibility,” Roberts said. “That makes sense.”
Josh Fields is put on disabled list
To activate Darvish, the Dodgers needed to take someone off their roster. Right-handed reliever Josh Fields experienced back soreness while warming up, according to Roberts, who called it “benign.” The team put Fields on the DL.
Fields said it was “precautionary.”
On Sunday at Dodger Stadium, Chris Taylor made his 30th professional start in center field, all this season.
“You look at all the metrics,” Roberts said, “and it kind of validates our eyes.”
Cody Bellinger (sprained ankle) is not eligible to be activated from the DL until Wednesday. If he were eligible Sunday, he would have played Sunday, Roberts said. … Right fielder Yasiel Puig received a planned day off, though he pinch-hit in the seventh inning. … Left fielder Curtis Granderson took a pitch off the top of his right hand, where he wears a guard.
Follow Pedro Moura on Twitter @pedromoura