Earlier today, the Dodgers announced that Clayton Kershaw threw a four-inning simulated game at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The sim-game was only supposed to last for three innings, but Kershaw felt well enough that he convinced Dave Roberts to allow him to throw a fourth. The next step for Kershaw — who threw 55 pitches — will most likely be a rehab start in the minor leagues.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) August 21, 2017
“As far as I know, yeah,” Kershaw said when asked about a rehab start. “Health-wise, I could have pitched in the big leagues 10 days ago. But that’s not the plan, obviously. I don’t feel I missed much time. I kept throwing all the way through. I guess it’s the luxury we have as a team.
“You can’t simulate a Major League game. You’ve just got to do it. Sim games are really hard. You try to create intensity, but you can’t and it’s really not a good recipe, but I guess it’s what you have to do.”
It seems like the Clayton Kershaw that we’ve been missing since July 24 is ready to return. However, Dodgers management is intent on having him throw a rehab start. As much as I want Kershaw back, I believe that it is better to let him pitch a game at the minor league level.
Austin Barnes, who caught the sim-game, said that Kershaw’s pitches did not fade as the game went on. This is good news because nobody wants Kershaw to pitch a strong first inning and then lose velocity and control in the second.
“It’s just Kershaw being the perfectionist he always is,” said Barnes. “When the ball doesn’t go exactly where he wants it, that’s what makes him so good. From the bullpen, looks like the same Kershaw to me.”