The Dodgers are placing Clayton Kershaw on the 15-day injured list due to right SI joint inflammation, the club informed reporters (including JP Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group). The team doesn’t anticipate it being a long-term absence. Reliever Garrett Cleanger has been recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City in a corresponding move.
The SI joint is in the hip/pelvis area, so Kershaw is fortunately not dealing with any arm concerns. He missed most of the second half of last season due to forearm/elbow issues, so this latest injury would seem to register as a much more minor issue. Walker Buehler will take the ball tonight against the Phillies in Kershaw’s stead.
Kershaw turned 34 years old last month, but despite his age and last season’s injuries, the three-time Cy Young award winner has again been dominant. After signing a one-year, $17MM deal to return to LA during Spring Training, Kershaw has tossed 30 innings across his first five starts. He owns a 1.80 ERA with a stellar 29.4% strikeout rate. Owner of perhaps the game’s best command, the eight-time All-Star has only walked three of the 109 batters he’s faced.
Andrew Heaney is also on the injured list, leaving the Dodgers with a four-man group of Buehler, Julio Urías, Tony Gonsolin and Tyler Anderson in the starting staff for now. David Price has been out of action since late April due to COVID-19, but he’s begun throwing and could return to the club next week (link via Sarah Wexler of MLB.com). Price, however, has worked exclusively in relief this year and probably wouldn’t step back into the rotation out of the gate. The Dodgers also recently selected highly-regarded pitching prospect Ryan Pepiot to make his major league debut; Pepiot was optioned back to Oklahoma City after a start on Wednesday.