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MRI confirms Kershaw has biceps tendinitis

Dodgers ace lands on 10-day DL, to rehab in Los Angeles
MLB.com @kengurnick

MONTERREY, Mexico -- Franchise pitcher Clayton Kershaw joined the Dodgers' wounded on Sunday when he was placed on the 10-day DL with biceps tendinitis. Brock Stewart was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City to replace him.

But nobody is equipped to replace Kershaw, the three-time National League Cy Young Award winner and former MVP who, in his opt-out season, has run his streak of consecutive years with trips to the disabled list to three.

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MONTERREY, Mexico -- Franchise pitcher Clayton Kershaw joined the Dodgers' wounded on Sunday when he was placed on the 10-day DL with biceps tendinitis. Brock Stewart was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City to replace him.

But nobody is equipped to replace Kershaw, the three-time National League Cy Young Award winner and former MVP who, in his opt-out season, has run his streak of consecutive years with trips to the disabled list to three.

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Kershaw did not speak to reporters and flew back to Los Angeles ahead of the club to meet with Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Sunday. The club announced Sunday night that an MRI confirmed the diagnosis of biceps tendinitis, and Kershaw will begin his rehab on Monday. The Dodgers didn't make the move retroactive, which means it's possible he could be sidelined a while.

"There's no indication it's anything serious, anything beyond biceps tendinitis," said Andrew Friedman, Dodgers president of baseball operations, before the MRI results were revealed.

"Certainly not ideal," manager Dave Roberts said. 

Video: LAD@ARI: Kershaw K's 6, allows 2 runs across 6 frames

Kershaw joins a staggering list of injured Dodgers stars. Currently on the DL are third baseman Justin Turner, shortstop Corey Seager -- who is out for the season -- right fielder Yasiel Puig, second baseman Logan Forsythe, starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu and relievers Tom Koehler and Julio Urias.

The Kershaw, Seager, Puig and Ryu injuries all occurred on the 10-day, 11-game trip that concluded Sunday. Puig is expected back this week, Forsythe will begin a rehab assignment this week and Turner resumed taking live batting practice on Sunday.

"Obviously, it's been tough, but injuries are part of the game," Friedman said. "And we've seen this team respond to adversity in years past when others had written us off. And we expect to do the same thing."

Instead of back injuries that sidelined him the past two years, this is Kershaw's first arm injury and the biceps muscle connects the arm to the shoulder. Biceps tendinitis causes pain in the front of the shoulder.

Roberts said Kershaw has "pitched through" biceps tendinitis in the past, and Kershaw told Roberts he felt it again during his most recent start. When Kershaw felt greater discomfort playing catch on Saturday "from the first throw," he decided to seek medical attention.

"That's a little unsettling," said Roberts, of Kershaw's willingness to go on the disabled list.

This could explain why Kershaw's fastball velocity has hovered around 91 mph this year, two ticks slower than his career average. The news also helps decipher the foggy explanations for why Kershaw did not pitch on regular rest in the Mexico Series against the Padres, and the late scratch of Rich Hill from Sunday's start.

Hill said he will be activated to start in Tuesday night's homestand opener against the D-backs. Roberts said Alex Wood will start Wednesday.

Kershaw, 30, has made seven starts this season, going 1-4 with a 2.86 ERA and has held hitters to a .234 average, while striking out 48 and walking 10. He started on Tuesday against the D-backs, allowing two runs on six hits and striking out six in six innings with a no-decision.

With Ryu out of the rotation until after the All-Star break, the Dodgers have already accelerated the addition of top prospect Walker Buehler into the rotation. Buehler, 23, is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in three starts for Oklahoma City this season, and owns a 4:1 strikeouts-to-walks ratio. According to MLB Pipeline, the right-hander is the top prospect in the Dodgers' organization, and ranks No. 12 in MLB.

"There's a little head-scratching, but we have to keep moving forward," Roberts said. "I know Clayton is frustrated. He's had to deal with some things the last couple of years. He wants to carry the load.

"You kind of feel for these guys, but when you're trying to win baseball games, it's sort of the next-man-up mentality. It's not insensitive, it's just the way it has to be. And we have a few good men left."

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

Los Angeles Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw