Clayton Kershaw Scratched From Opening Day Start Due To Back Inflammation

Everybody panic! Earlier this evening, the Dodgers announced that Clayton Kershaw will miss his scheduled start on Sunday night. After reporting stiffness yesterday, Kershaw underwent an MRI earlier today, which revealed inflammation in his teres major muscle, which “stabilizes the upper arm.”

An injury so close to the shoulder is pretty scary, but it seems a bit early to worry very much:

Kershaw stated later that he could probably start on Sunday despite the injury, but an overabundance of caution with pitchers is necessary.

Kershaw has been incredibly durable throughout his career. He has never been placed on the disabled list, though he dealt with a hip impingement and plantar fasciitis in 2012. His durability is one reason why his huge contract seems like a bargain.

Figuring out Kershaw’s replacement for Sunday night’s game against the Padres is not an easy task. Zack Greinke is currently in line to start tomorrow’s Freeway Series game, and it has been announced that he will start next Tuesday in San Diego. Hyun-jin Ryu has an injured toe, suffered while running the bases in Australia. His toenail was treated earlier today, and he felt good enough to throw off of a mound afterwards. Don Mattingly stated earlier tonight that Ryu is still in the mix for Sunday’s start. Dan Haren, who missed the trip to Australia due to a tired arm, is apparently ready to go. Paul Maholm will pitch in tonight’s intrasquad game, though that can be viewed as a bullpen session and would not prevent him from starting on Sunday if necessary.

If Kershaw’s injury is indeed minor, then the rotation shouldn’t be impacted for very long. Despite the long paragraph going through Sunday’s options, right now the main obstacle is getting everyone in order on short notice without sending anybody to the disabled list.

I think it’s premature to blame the Australia trip for Kershaw’s back injury (and that it will probably be tiresome when the trip is blamed for everything that goes wrong later in the year). Unless the team says for sure, we’ll never know. Kershaw’s velocity did seem a bit low on Saturday, though the announcers blamed a cold radar gun. We’ll never know for sure how different things would have been had the Dodgers heeded Dustin’s advice.


About

Daniel Brim grew up in the Los Angeles area and remains a Dodger fan despite currently residing in Salem, MA. As an engineer, he’s fascinated by the math and science behind the game of baseball, which probably explains a lot. He started “Blog To The Score” in late 2013 to dig deeper into the numbers behind the Dodgers. In its brief lifespan, it gained attention from local and national media. You can find him spending too much time in the comments section or on Twitter.


294 comments
efb
efb

good job Conman

efb
efb

hello?

efb
efb

This place is dead like Clayton Kershaw

Omer (beercoozie)
Omer (beercoozie)

Hi. I'm Omer. I like the Doders, Yasiel Puig, batflips, Dr. Pepper, and coffee.

Shroom
Shroom

People that talk about flight 370 and indignantly compare it to Lost disgust me.

Subtle Euphemism aka Jonathan Lingo
Subtle Euphemism aka Jonathan Lingo

Part of me worries if all these negative vibes will weigh on Puig and he'll struggle. But, then I think that he is still a young kid high on life and he doesn't even know who or what these crabapple-like sportswriters are, so they can bloviate all they want and it won't affect him no matter how angry and bitter they get.

Jeremy_N
Jeremy_N

heard a radio host this morning who said the dodgers shouldn't have signed Kershaw to his big deal because of this new back 'injury.' i gotta stop listening to sports talk and just watch games. sheesh.

DBrim
DBrim moderator

I think Dylan Hernandez did a good job on Effectively Wild.

Shroom
Shroom

From Craig's twitter bio: "Described by Buster Olney as a reverse racist."

Shroom
Shroom

Michael, please make a satire. 

Mike Petriello
Mike Petriello moderator

so i SHOULDN'T write about all this today?

efb
efb

@Catfishin  and when people compare it to lost, they usually dont seem indignant about it, but rather un-empathetic 

efb
efb

@Catfishin  Yeah Lost took place in the South Pacific, not the Indian ocean.. wtf 

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler moderator

Listening to it later. Being a responsible adult and listening to NPR right now.

Jacopo (How is this a bad plan!)
Jacopo (How is this a bad plan!)

@DodgersFan  "Mattingly wouldn't do this if he only thought that a couple of sports writers were being unfair. "

Yes he would if he felt that his comments were taken out of context or misleading. He would want to make it clear to the team that there are no problems. In fact, if he did not hold the meeting, the  rest of the team may thing the controversy was correct. 

Buster needs to take a step back. 

DodgersFan
DodgersFan

 molly knight is being really annoying on twitter right now.

Lobo
Lobo

@Mike Petriello I have a terrible feeling this whole thing is going to cost somebody their job

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler moderator

Should have uploaded some other Puig photos to my Flickr account that would work better with this pending article. Oh well.

Shroom
Shroom

@Mike Petriello  I think it would be fun if you did a satirical piece on Puig and the media.

Omer (beercoozie)
Omer (beercoozie)

We'll like what you write. It will be level-headed and well thought out. Not only that, we like you.

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler moderator

I'm partial to Mr. Pibb, by Dr Pepper is damn good.

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler moderator

I haven't. Haven't consumed a soda in nearly three years.

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler moderator

I do, too. Goes back to what I said yesterday.

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler moderator

Don't need 2,000 words for that. It's Cesar, hands down.