Clayton Kershaw gets back on a mound and ‘felt great’

first_img“We just want him to progress properly. Not rush. Have a good progression and be healthy,” Honeycutt said of Kershaw. “We’ve waited this amount of time for the medicine to work. Now it seems to be in a good place. So now today was the first step.“Let’s do it the right way.”Honeycutt said he thought Kershaw’s motion was “free and cleaner” Monday, an indication that his shoulder was feeling better than it had in a while.“With any pitcher when you have a small discomfort, especially in the shoulder, you end up finding a spot where you can throw and that’s what he did last year, I think, a lot,” Honeycutt said. “He pitched with what he had that day and competed and competed very well. But maybe he’s not in the best spot – I’m talking about arm slot, release point to make good pitches – to consistently do what he wanted.Related Articles “Today he just wanted that nice rhythm that he had and have the freedom for the shoulder to work and it looked really good.”Kershaw wouldn’t share his expectations for how his progression will go – “one step at a time,” he said. But he acknowledged that an Opening Day start does have meaning to him.“Yes and no, I guess,” he said. “Yes because I’ve got a little streak going, just the history behind it is pretty cool. But no in the fact that it’s not worth – it’s one game. You have to kind of weigh that back and forth. So – yes and no.”An Opening Day start this year would be Kershaw’s ninth consecutive for the Dodgers, extending his franchise record.SEAGER PLANRehabbing shortstop Corey Seager took three at-bats in a minor-league game Monday. Roberts said the Dodgers are “hopeful” Seager can take the next step in his recovery soon and start playing defense in minor-league games as well.“I would say the end of the week is something we can probably hope for,” Roberts said.ALSOThe Dodgers made a number of cuts Monday, trimming the number of players in major-league camp to 38. Re-assigned or optioned to minor-league camp were right-handers Dennis Santana and Brock Stewart, catchers Keibert Ruiz and Will Smith, infielder Edwin Rios and outfielders Kyle Garlick and Shane Peterson.Additionally, the Dodgers placed outfielder Andrew Toles on the restricted list, freeing up a 40-man roster spot. Toles has not reported for spring training while dealing with “a personal matter.” GLENDALE, Ariz. — Nineteen days since he last threw off a mound and 17 days before Opening Day, Clayton Kershaw got back on a mound to throw on Monday.Kershaw’s first bullpen session since Feb. 20 (when shoulder discomfort put his throwing program on hold) lasted 20 pitches, all fastballs. Pitching coach Rick Honeycutt said Kershaw was throwing at “a clean 80 percent and I think that’s right where he needed to be today.”“Good day. Good step forward for sure,” Kershaw said. “Felt great. It was another good day and I’ll take that right now. Just keep moving forward and start building up.”There doesn’t seem to be time left in spring training for Kershaw to go through a normal building-up process and be at full strength for Opening Day. But Dodgers manager Dave Roberts acknowledged “it’s a possibility” that Kershaw – and Walker Buehler, who has been held back out of caution for the young right-hander’s workload – could start the season in the rotation even if they are only built up to pitch four or five innings in their initial starts. Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season “Once we get to that point, then we’re going to have to make a decision on are we good with that, seeing how the rest of the roster shapes up as far as the ’pen,” Roberts said Monday. “But it just doesn’t make sense and we’re not going to close a door right now even if that is their buildup. Just to keep the options open, I think that’s where we’re at right now.”Roberts said he would be willing to start Kershaw on Opening Day with a strict pitch count that would limit him and have relievers pitch the majority of the game.“Yeah, for sure,” he said. “But we still have to be on the same page with the two guys, see if it makes sense for them. They’ve got to believe in that, feel good about it, and we as well from a roster standpoint.”Buehler is scheduled to throw to hitters in a live batting practice session on Wednesday but has not pitched in a game situation yet this spring. Left-hander Julio Urias is also being limited and could start the season in a bullpen role to limit his innings this season.Kershaw’s next step will be to throw another bullpen session later this week and possibly introduce breaking balls. How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire center_img Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies last_img

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