Fantasy baseball owners of Los Angeles Dodgers’ ace Clayton Kershaw have been counting down the days until when the southpaw returns to the mound.
That day could come sooner rather than later.
Kershaw will make a Minor League rehab start for Class-A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga on Friday night, his first time back on the mound since being placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career. Kershaw has been on the disabled list since suffering a strained teres major muscle on the left side of his back in his Opening Night win in Australia.
He is expected to make 55-65 pitches and his next day to pitch would be Wednesday.
What is interesting is the fact that Kershaw could return to the Dodgers’ rotation sooner than expected if everything goes well.
Dodgers’ manager Don Mattingly didn’t say how soon Kershaw might return to the Dodgers’ rotation, but Mattingly also didn’t confirm who would start for him next week in Minneapolis, where the Dodgers open a three-city trip.
On Wednesday, Mattingly said Kershaw would need at least a second rehab start before being activated, but if all goes well Kershaw will probably lobby to return immediately.
Kershaw’s spot in the rotation has been filled by Paul Maholm, who is scheduled to pitch Saturday and again next Friday.
Even if Kershaw fares well Friday night, I would expect the Dodgers to be cautious with his return as at this point there is no need to rush him backs, especially since they are still on top of the tight National League West.
That’s likely great news for his owners as his return is likely only a couple of weeks away, given the fact that you likely used a high first-round pick to get him.