Dodgers News: Clayton Kershaw faces hitters, way back clearer

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It’s previously been reported that Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw will return from the injured list when the active rosters drop from 26 to 28 players in early September, but we got a little more clarity Monday on how much time will go from here there. look like.

Reports on Sunday said Kershaw’s next step would be a bullpen session, followed by a mock game a few days later.

Clayton Kershaw and Brusdar Graterol played in the Dodger Stadium outfield this morning. Dave Roberts said Graterol will be activated on Monday. Kershaw will then launch an enclosure, then a simulation game. Probably won’t make a rehabilitation game. Blake Treinen is targeted for a Sept. 2 comeback.

Those plans apparently changed at some point, however, as Kershaw was on the mound at Dodger Stadium on Monday afternoon, facing Hanser Alberto, Trayce Thompson and Joey Gallo in a three-inning mock game.

Kershaw pitched to the batters today – the equivalent of 3 innings. Dave Roberts said he will make the trip to Miami later this week and upgrade to 4 innings in a simulation game.

The plan now is for Kershaw to travel to Miami with the team and kick off another simulation game on Saturday, this one spanning four innings. Assuming all goes well in his recovery from both simulation games, he would then be activated when the rosters expand and join the starting rotation.

If Clayton Kershaw continues to feel good after increased #Dodgers activity, Dave Roberts said he’ll kick off a 4-IP simulation game Saturday in Miami. Might join the rotation after that.

Kershaw has been outstanding this season in good health, posting a 2.64 ERA in 15 starts. But he also missed about two months of the season with two separate stints on the injured list due to back problems.

With the Dodgers holding an insurmountable lead over the Padres in National League West and a solid lead over the Mets in the race for baseball’s best record, they can afford to slow Kershaw’s comeback. They don’t need anything from him in September; their goal is for him to be healthy and effective in the playoffs, and they are surely aware of last season, when Kershaw returned from IL in early September to injure his arm the last weekend of the season and miss the whole month of October.

The goal, presumably, is to prevent a 2021 rerun.

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