The body count in Los Angeles has reached record proportions. With starting pitchers Scott Kazmir and Brett Anderson being moved to the disabled list yesterday, the team has put 27 players on the DL, tying a record set by the 2012 Red Sox. There is over a full MLB roster of walking wounded wearing Dodger blue.
Fortunately for Los Angeles, Clayton Kershaw appears confident he’ll be resurrected in the near future.
A hotly anticipated 40-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday went well, and Kershaw has apparently been in manager Dave Roberts’ ear about the number of rehab starts he’ll be assigned before returning to the Dodgers rotation (Kershaw successfully got the number from two to one). All that’s on the 28-year-old’s mind is getting a step closer to the mound.
Clayton Kershaw: "I think it’s time to see some hitters."— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) August 24, 2016
This is only good news for the Dodgers, who again, just crossed off the names of two more starters from the active roster. Kershaw, meanwhile, has remained the National League pitching WAR leader (4.8), even though he hasn’t thrown a pitch in two months. Compare that to Kazmir, who has a 5.68 ERA for the month of August, and Anderson, who has allowed 11 ER in 4 IP for L.A. total this year, and you can see how desperate for depth—let alone league-leaders—the Dodgers have been.
The return of a player of Kershaw’s caliber is extra-crucial in late August, as the NL West race tightens. Right now, the Giants are only two games back on the Dodgers, with all of September still on the schedule. Los Angeles can’t throw bodies at their problems forever, and having Kershaw back would go a long way toward any form of solidification with their biggest rival right on their heels.