Seven-time All-Star and three-time NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw will return to the Dodgers’ rotation Thursday night. He was activated from the 10-day DL on Thursday afternoon after being out of action since May 1 due to left bicep tendinitis.
The 30-year-old Kershaw, who has posted a 2.37 ERA and 1.01 WHIP over an 11-year major-league career, got off to a bit of a slow start by his standards this season. The Dodgers lost five of the seven games he started, and while he posted a strong 2.86 ERA and 1.14 WHIP, he endured a few rougher-than-usual starts leading up to his DL stint. He was tagged for four earned runs on nine hits over seven innings on April 20 against the Nationals, walked six batters and allowed five hits over five innings against the Marlins on April 25, and allowed six hits and a walk over six innings while facing the Diamondbacks on May 1.
His return comes at a good time for the Dodgers, who have bounced back a bit after a disastrous start and are now just 3.5 games out of first place in the NL West. They’re now without three members of their Opening Day rotation — Rich Hill, Kenta Maeda, and Hyun-Jin Ryu — and have relied on guys like Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart to get them through the month of May.
Unfortunately, Kershaw’s return means we’ll (at least temporarily) be robbed of the opportunity to watch baseball’s only switch-pitcher, as reliever Pat Venditte was optioned to Triple-A in order to clear a spot for Kershaw.