LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is scheduled to pitch Friday at Miami after spending more than two months on the disabled list with a herniated disk.
Manager Dave Roberts says Kershaw won’t have a specific pitch count, but the team will be looking at the big picture with the playoffs coming up next month. The Dodgers lead the NL West by two games over San Francisco.
Kershaw dominated in his lone rehab start at Class A Rancho Cucamonga on Saturday night. The left-hander allowed only an infield hit, struck out five and walked none. He threw 35 pitches in the game and another 15 in the bullpen to reach his 50-pitch limit for the night.
Clayton Kershaw on starting Friday: “It’s going to be fun. It’s been a long time coming. I’m excited to get back out there and get going”
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) September 4, 2016
“Clayton texted me a couple of times and told me he’s excited,” Roberts said Sunday. “It will be a big lift for the guys.”
Kershaw’s impending return, along with Kenta Maeda starting Monday against Arizona and two solid starts by Rich Hill, gives the Dodgers’ tattered rotation a major boost.
“We can put our top three with any in baseball, but it starts with Clayton,” Roberts said.
Kershaw, on Friday start: “It’s probably not going to be the full game first time out. I’m not okay with it but I understand the situation.”
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) September 4, 2016
Kershaw was 11-2 with a 1.79 ERA before getting injured in late June.
Friday’s game is the start of a 10-game road trip that includes three games against the Yankees.
Still on the disabled list are pitchers Hyun-Jin Ryu, Brett Anderson, Scott Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy and Alex Wood.
Anderson followed Kershaw in Saturday’s game, but was again bothered by a blister and was to meet Sunday with the team’s medical staff.
Ryu appears out for the season because of a left elbow injury. Wood could be back in a bullpen role.
McCarthy was to pitch Sunday at Rancho Cucamonga. Kazmir will start Wednesday at Triple-A Oklahoma City, throwing six innings with a 90-pitch limit. Roberts said Kazmir is likely to start one of the three games at New York.
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