The Dodgers have placed rotation anchor Clayton Kershaw on the 10-day disabled list with left bicep tendonitis, per a club announcement Sunday morning. The star left-hander returned to Los Angeles early from the team’s trip to Mexico so that he could be examined by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, the team’s head physician, as Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times tweeted Sunday.
The 30-year-old Kershaw, a seven-time All-Star and three-time Cy Young winner who has made significant headway towards becoming the most respected pitcher in major-league history, has struggled a bit by his standards (but succeeded by those of nearly any other starter) this season, posting a 2.86 ERA and 1.14 WHIP through seven starts. While his four pitcher losses are more attributable to the inconsistency of the Dodgers’ lineup and bullpen than Kershaw himself, it’s worth noting that he’s already matched his loss total from each of the past two seasons.
Kershaw was very solid during his last start for the Dodgers, allowing two earned runs (both on solo homers) with six strikeouts, six hits, and one walk over six innings against the Diamondbacks on Tuesday. While Kershaw has dealt with back trouble over each of the past two seasons, he’s mostly avoided arm injuries over the years; the last time he missed time with an arm issue was in 2014, when he began the season on the DL due to a shoulder strain.
Kershaw’s injury is just the latest setback for the Dodgers, who have seemingly been cursed throughout the first five-plus weeks of the season. They’ve received just three starts this season from frequently-injured lefty Rich Hill, lost lefty Hyun-jin Ryu until the All-Star break with a groin tear earlier this week, and have been without potential depth starters Julio Urias and Tom Koehler for the entire season to date because of shoulder issues.
Three-fifths of the Dodgers’ Opening Day rotation is now on the DL, and four members of their projected starting lineup — Logan Forsythe, Justin Turner, Corey Seager, and Yasiel Puig — are also on the disabled list, with Seager out for the season after having Tommy John surgery.
Hill will return Tuesday and replace Kershaw in the rotation, per McCullough. He’ll join Alex Wood, Kenta Maeda, rookie Walker Buehler, and the freshly-recalled Brock Stewart as the current members of the starting five.