The Los Angeles Dodgers could soon welcome back the most necessary piece to their ball club if they want to turn their season around. According to Bill Plunkett of The Orange County Register, pitcher Clayton Kershaw indicated he felt good after throwing a simulated game on Saturday and believes he should be ready to pitch in a game in five days.
While Kershaw told reporters he felt good and ready to pitch against competition, the 30-year-old said he won’t truly know where he is at until he faces live hitters.
“You can’t simulate a big-league game,” Kershaw said, per Plunkett. “All the things you do to prepare to pitch a big-league game, until you’re in one you really don’t know where you’re at. … Ultimately the only way to figure out if you’re ready or not is to go face guys.”
According to Plunkett, the Dodgers were able to have Kershaw pitch four innings in the simulated game and build his pitch count up to 61.
According to Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts wouldn’t commit to starting Kershaw in five days and indicated the team wants to see how Kershaw feels in the following days after his 61-pitch simulated game.
If Kershaw does need to go out on a rehab appearance, the team could send him to Triple-A Oklahoma City for an appearance to face hitters in a competitive environment then see how he feels after.
Upon his return, the southpaw will come back to a 2.86 ERA and 1.14 WHIP and rejoin a rotation that badly needs him.