Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Kershaw resting, but feeling better physically

Pederson homers as Dodgers' bats break out in spring opener
@kengurnick
February 23, 2019

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Saturday update on Clayton Kershaw was brief, but somewhat encouraging. “I know in talking to him, he feels better physically,” said manager Dave Roberts. “When the training staff decides we can ramp things back up, then we’ll do something.”

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Saturday update on Clayton Kershaw was brief, but somewhat encouraging.

“I know in talking to him, he feels better physically,” said manager Dave Roberts. “When the training staff decides we can ramp things back up, then we’ll do something.”

Kershaw hasn’t thrown a ball since a discouraging Wednesday bullpen session, when he told Roberts he “didn’t feel right.” Roberts on Friday referenced something with Kershaw’s arm, ruling out a re-injury of previous back and biceps issues.

Pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, after speaking with Kershaw, mentioned “something going on inside the joint.”

“I actually had a premonition after he was throwing live [Monday] where he was at that day,” said Honeycutt, who arrived in camp on Saturday, less than two weeks after undergoing major back surgery. “He didn’t sound great that day. I thought, hopefully, just not right that day.

“Hopefully the medication he’s on and stuff, I know it’s a very frustrating time for him. You want Spring Training to be as positive as possible. I knew there would be valleys in his progression. Kersh’s going to power through whatever. It wasn’t like you saw anything that jumped out of the video that would say something’s not right. What he’s going through has got to be a feel, a feeling of throws being proper and not that you see something mechanical that’s the issue. It’s more, I think, what’s going on inside the joint right now.”

Kershaw was given Thursday off and spent Friday and Saturday in the trainers' and weight rooms. On Friday, Kershaw said he expected to resume throwing by early next week, and Roberts said that’s still the tentative timetable.

“I don’t know when [throwing] will take place, but just in talking to him and seeing his disposition, he’s encouraged about how his body is responding.”

Bats break out in first spring game

In the Spring Training opener, the Dodgers beat a White Sox split squad, 7-6, with Joc Pederson slugging the first homer of the year and catchers Russell Martin (as the DH) and Austin Barnes combining to go 3-for-6 with three RBIs. Enrique Hernandez went 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Starter Rich Hill, determined to avoid last year’s slow beginning, threw a nine-pitch perfect inning with a strikeout.

“It was good to see Rich attack the strike zone,” said Roberts. “Very efficient. Yimi Garcia looked sharp. The at-bats up and down the lineup looked good.”

Worth noting

• Outfielder Cody Bellinger is being held out of workouts for a few days as he deals with back soreness -- an early spring precaution. Roberts said the injury is not believed to be serious. Bellinger won’t play on Sunday.

• Honeycutt checked in to Camelback Ranch and observed the pitchers’ throwing sessions on Saturday. He remained in street clothes wearing a back brace. Honeycutt said doctors addressed a broken vertebrae, a herniated disk and arthritis with reconstructive surgery that included the insertion of four three-inch screws and what amounts to a bone graft.

“I feel worse about the timing of it. I didn’t like being late, but it was something that had to be done,” said Honeycutt. “Dr. [Robert] Watkins said there was no way I could get through the season with what I had. It was like my muscles weren’t firing. Now that the nerves are opened back up, it lets the muscle react again.”

• Corey Seager continues to progress from two operations, and on Saturday he finally threw across the diamond, the biggest test for an infielder coming off Tommy John elbow reconstruction. Seager also hit off closer Kenley Jansen in live batting practice.

Up next

The Dodgers play the Angels on Sunday (12:07 p.m. PT, live on MLB.TV) in the first of five spring meetings between the teams. Hyun-Jin Ryu will start for the Dodgers, who also list pitchers Dennis Santana, Adam McCreery, Tony Gonsolin, Mitchell White, Dustin May and Joe Broussard in the bullpen.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.