Kershaw to make first start Monday

April 11th, 2019

ST. LOUIS -- Dodgers ace will make his first start of the season on Monday against the Reds at Dodger Stadium.

Kershaw allowed two runs on five hits over six innings in a rehab start for the Double-A Tulsa Drillers on Tuesday night. Both runs came on solo homers. He struck out six batters and walked none on 81 pitches (59 strikes).

“He feels good, we feel good about it and he should be champing at the bit,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said on Thursday.

The 31-year-old Kershaw, who has been recovering from left shoulder inflammation, touched 92 mph with his fastball on Tuesday.

Roberts didn’t watch the start, but all the feedback was positive.

“I saw all the velocities with the different pitches and the sequencing and talking to him,” Roberts said. “For him, it was kind of a tuneup going up against Double-A hitters, and for me, I’m just going on his word.”

Kershaw is entering the first season of the three-year, $93 million deal he signed with the Dodgers last November. Monday will mark his first Major League start since losing Game 5 of last year’s World Series to the Red Sox. Kershaw is one of three Dodgers starters on the injured list, alongside Rich Hill and Hyun-Jin Ryu.

The team hasn’t decided on a starter for Saturday’s home game against the Brewers. That would normally have been Ryu’s spot, but he was placed on the 10-day injured list after leaving Monday’s game with a left groin strain.

Roberts didn’t rule out a bullpen game with either Caleb Ferguson or Dennis Santana getting the start, but he said the decision will largely depend on how the games on Thursday and Friday go.