Kershaw extends bullpen session to 54 pitches

4-inning sim game next for ace; Dodgers recall Paredes, option Chargois

May 23rd, 2018

LOS ANGELES -- There was good news on Wednesday from , who threw a bullpen session that extended beyond original plans and provided some degree of relief to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.
"He thought it wasn't good because of pitch execution, but he said he felt fine," said Roberts, who confirmed that Kershaw is on track to throw a four-inning simulated game on Saturday, the next step in his recovery from left biceps tendinitis.
If Kershaw comes out of the workouts Wednesday and Saturday with no issues, management will decide whether to send him out for a Minor League rehab start or place him back in the big league rotation.
Wednesday's session was originally planned for 30 pitches. Instead, Kershaw threw 30 pitches, took a break, then came back with 24 more throws as Roberts stood in the batter's box from both sides.
Regular catcher caught Kershaw, with a trainer monitoring pitch velocity, an assortment of gadgets capturing data and a gaggle of front-office types observing.
Kershaw last pitched competitively on May 1 in Arizona, where he struck out six and walked one, but allowed a pair of home runs. He shut himself down during warmups for a May 4 bullpen session in Monterrey, Mexico, when he felt pain in the area where the biceps attach to the shoulder.
• Before Wednesday night's series finale with Colorado, the Dodgers optioned right-handed reliever JT Chargois to Triple-A Oklahoma City and recalled left-handed reliever .
The move was more a demotion of Chargois than a promotion of Paredes. Chargois, claimed during Spring Training after being designated for assignment by Minnesota, made the Opening Day roster, but struggled with his command, walking 12 in 17 innings.
"The slider's been inconsistent," said Roberts. "He's been part of the solution, but to get him out of the fire of performing up here and give him a chance to catch his breath."
Roberts compared Chargois' option to one given to , who used a brief stint with OKC to reset after a rocky beginning and regain the command that led the Dodgers to acquire him from Kansas City.
"Similar results, hopefully," said Roberts. "[Chargois] just hasn't been able to execute his slider, and his fastball command isn't what it needs to be."
Chargois had a 4.76 ERA in 20 games, striking out 23.
Paredes, who pitched once for the Dodgers in an earlier callup, had a 1.17 ERA and .204 opposing batting average in 15 games at OKC.