Time To Panic: Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw Goes To The Disabled List
The Dodgers are in trouble.
Currently sitting six games behind the hated Giants in the National League West (as of this writing, the Dodgers are in the middle of a game they are leading), the team announced on Thursday morning that pitcher Clayton Kershaw would be hitting the 15-day disabled list, shutting him down at least until after the All-Star Break.
Clayton Kershaw received an epidural yesterday. He is going on the DL.— Andy McCullough (@ByMcCullough) June 30, 2016
The move comes after a rough outing in Pittsburgh on Sunday in which Kershaw gave up 4 runs in a loss to the Pirates. It was his worst start in two months. According to the L.A. Times, Kershaw had been dealing with back discomfort for a month, and reported more soreness on Monday. He was flown back to L.A. on Wednesday to see a specialist and received an epidural.
Despite the treatment, the team has no timetable set for his return. "How his body responds to the epidural, that's the most telling," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told the Times. "I don't know how it’s going to be. I don't know. I'm hopeful. But I can't say either way."
It's no stretch to say that this is a devastating blow to the Dodgers, who are struggling to keep up with the Giants in the division. As Dylan Hernandez points out in his L.A. Times column, the Dodgers are 14-2 in games Kershaw starts and, going into Thursday, 29-35 when he doesn't. Kershaw was in the midst of what might be the best pitching season since at least the peak of Pedro Martinez, sporting a 1.79 ERA and a bonkers 16.1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. For comparison, the Mets' Noah Syndergaard currently has the second-best K/BB ratio at only 7.7 (the Major League record for best K/BB ratio over a whole season is 11.6).
Kershaw joins what would make for a very good pitching rotation that currently sits on the Dodgers' disabled list, with Hyun-jin Ryu, Brandon McCarthy, Brett Anderson and Alex Wood.
Don't worry. Here comes some reinforcement! On Thursday morning, the Dodgers traded for Bud Norris from the Atlanta Braves:
Bud Norris, by the way, has a career ERA of 4.43 and in May was demoted to the bullpen on the worst team in baseball (in fairness, he was brought back to starting this past month and has been decent).
At least there's plenty of baseball to be played the rest of the season! Get well soon Clayton Kershaw.