SAN FRANCISCO -- The Dodgers could be getting a key piece to their starting rotation back, just as another might be on his way out.
Clayton Kershaw threw two innings of a simulated game on Friday and is expected to begin what team officials hope will be a short rehab assignment next week. After that, the eight-time All-Star and three-time Cy Young winner could rejoin the big league club soon.
That came not long before the Dodgers scratched left-hander David Price because of an unspecified arm injury from his scheduled start against the Giants on Friday night. Although manager Dave Roberts didn’t sound too concerned, the team hasn’t ruled out placing Price on the injured list.
“It was something he’s been dealing with but then it kind of came to a head more after his last start,” Roberts said. “We just want to be sure, just to reset him a little bit, too. You look at what David did last year [not playing] and what he’s done this year, it’s a lot as far as workload. To kind of give him a little reprieve and get him back, get some of that soreness out, he should be fine.”
While Price is being put on pause, the Dodgers are pressing forward with Kershaw in hopes of getting their star left-hander back soon.
Kershaw, who is 9-7 with a 3.39 ERA, last pitched on July 3 when he lasted four innings against the Nationals. Since then, it’s been a slow, steady climb back.
“The next step for Clayton will be to throw a 'pen on Sunday,” Roberts said. “Once he gets through that, we’ll figure out where he goes on a rehab assignment, which would either Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. After he gets through that -- we would assume healthy and all goes well -- then the next outing will be with us.”
Getting Kershaw back would be big for the Dodgers, who went into Friday tied with the Giants for the best record in baseball, especially if Price is out for any extended length of time.
Max Scherzer, who left his start against the Braves on Wednesday because of hamstring tightness, did some running and threw off flat ground Friday. There had been speculation the Dodgers might push his next start back a day or two, but Roberts said Scherzer will throw on the side on Saturday and start Monday against the Cardinals.
Price has been in and out of the Dodgers' rotation most of the season. He was slated to make his 12th start against San Francisco before being removed from the lineup. Corey Knebel started in place of Price.
Roberts declined to say specifically what is bothering Price but noted the issue began after the 36-year-old’s previous start against the Mets on Aug. 22.
“We’re trying to take it day by day but [the IL is] a possibility,” Roberts said. “It’s an arm thing and he’s just kind of felt it. It’s nothing that’s going to be a big deal. It’s kind of making sure that we don’t let it become such. If it is an IL [stint], it’d be a short-term deal.”