The Dodgers postseason hopes might have just been dashed with news today Clayton Kershaw may require back surgery. Already 4.5 games behind the Giants for the NL West lead, LA might be forced to move forward this season without their ace as surgery would ensure Kershaw misses the remainder of the 2016 season.
Having been on the disabled list since July 1 with disc herniation in his back, Kershaw pitched a simulated game last Saturday but it would seem his back didn’t respond well.
Kershaw “didn’t feel great” after the sim game on Saturday. So unlikely he pitches vs. @Cardinals. Still no timetable for return.
— Alanna Rizzo (@alannarizzo) July 19, 2016
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts admitted today that surgery is a possibility, much to the concern of Dodger fans. The loss of Kershaw for the rest of the season would have a huge impact on a starting rotation that has struggled with injuries all year.
Brett Anderson, Alex Wood and Hyun-Jin Ryu are all still on the disabled list while Brandon McCarthy recently returned to the Dodger rotation after not pitching at all before early July.
So far in 2016, Kershaw is the only starter to have an ERA below 2.00 at 1.79. He’s gone 11-2 in 16 starts and led the majors in home runs per nine, walks per nine innings and strikeout to walk ratio. Put simply, he continues to be one of the best pitchers in the game.
Loosing a guy of Kershaw’s calibre won’t be easy and it will likely ensure the Dodgers have to be active on the trade market to bring in at least one if not two starting pitchers.
Left-hander Julio Urias will start tomorrow in Washington, taking Kershaw’s place in the rotation.