Clayton Kershaw won't throw for at least a week after feeling soreness in shoulder

Los Angeles, CA, Sunday, June 2, 2024 - Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws long toss.

An MRI scan showed no new damage in the surgically repaired throwing shoulder of Clayton Kershaw, but the Dodgers left-hander will be shut down from throwing for at least a week to give his sore shoulder time to heal.

Kershaw, who had surgery to repair the gleno-humeral ligaments and capsule in his shoulder last Nov. 3, threw three innings for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga in his first minor league rehabilitation start last Wednesday, and he was scheduled to pitch for triple-A Oklahoma City on Tuesday night.

But manager Dave Roberts said the three-time National League Cy Young Award winner will need to complete at least two bullpen workouts before he returns to game action, so he won’t resume his rehab stint until mid-July at the earliest. Kershaw, 36, was hoping to return around the All-Star break.

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“It’s not perfect, but it’s not surprising that there’s a little bit of a regression in the throwing process,” Roberts said before Tuesday night’s series opener against the Chicago White Sox. “This is part of the process for anyone who goes through surgery, who goes through rehab, and is on their way back.

“It could be a week [off], and then he’ll ramp up again. A week is not long enough to worry about cutting into the buildup he’s already had, but it’s a way for us to get the soreness out. … You do the scan to see if there’s new [damage], which there wasn’t, so that’s why we feel very comfortable and confident that this is just a blip.”

Sho Time

Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani hits a two-run home run against the Texas Rangers on June 11.

Shohei Ohtani was named National League player of the week on Monday, the ninth time in his seven-year career that the slugger has garnered player of the week honors, his first seven coming with the Angels in the American League.

Ohtani hit .458 (11 for 24) with a 1.650 OPS, four homers, three doubles, 11 RBIs, six walks and eight runs in six games last week, his last two homers coming against his former club on Friday and Saturday night.

Ohtani entered Tuesday night’s game with a major league-leading .321 average and a team-leading 1.030 OPS, 23 homers, 21 doubles, 57 RBIs and 61 runs. He has been on a two-week tear, batting .386 (17 for 44) with a 1.509 OPS, eight homers, three doubles, 16 RBIs and 14 runs in 12 games since June 11.

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The difference, Roberts said, is Ohtani has been more selective at the plate, an improvement that coincides with Ohtani moving into the leadoff spot in place of the injured Mookie Betts last Monday.

“For pure talent, Shohei is on a different level, but now you layer in the plate discipline, and that puts him on another level,” Roberts said. “Talent can get you a long way, but to be disciplined in the strike zone makes you even more dangerous. A willingness to take first base via the walk, to take a 3-and-2 slider that’s a ball, those things are separators.”

Teoscar Hernández out

Dodgers outfielder Teoscar Hernández hits a two-run home run against the Texas Rangers on June 11.
Dodgers outfielder Teoscar Hernández hits a two-run home run against the Texas Rangers on June 11. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Teoscar Hernández missed Monday night’s game after traveling to his native Dominican Republic for “a personal reason,” Roberts said. The corner outfielder, who started each of the team’s first 79 games, is expected to return in time for Wednesday night’s game against the White Sox.

Hernández is batting .254 with an .813 OPS, and his 18 homers and 54 RBIs rank second behind Ohtani in both categories.

Knack for success

Dodgers pitcher Landon Knack delivers against the Angels on Friday.

Landon Knack, who is 1-1 with a 2.10 ERA in five starts over three big-league stints this season, will remain in the rotation and make his next start in San Francisco against the Giants on Friday night.

“He’s in rotation for the foreseeable future,” Roberts said of Knack, “and he’s earned it, absolutely.”

Tyler Glasnow will start Saturday night, giving the ace two extra days rest after his win over the Angels on Saturday night, and James Paxton is penciled in for Sunday.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.