On Sunday morning, the final day before the All-Star break, Clayton Kershaw took a sizable step toward his return to the Dodgers. He threw a light bullpen session before his team faced San Diego, which marked the first time he threw off a mound since receiving an epidural injection on June 29 to aid a herniated disk in his lower back. Manager Dave Roberts indicated Kershaw will not be a part of the team's rotation during the first five games after the break. But he left open the possibility that Kershaw could rejoin the team during the next turn through the rotation. "To see Clayton in a pen, throwing off a mound, is definitely encouraging," Roberts said.
The Dodgers placed Carl Crawford on the disabled list Saturday morning, the seventh time in the last six seasons the 34-year-old outfielder has ended up there. The cause this time was soreness in his lower back, which has affected him since the middle of March. The team recalled infielder Micah Johnson, who could useful on the bases as a pinch runner for Manager Dave Roberts. Johnson also played the outfield on Friday night for triple-A Oklahoma City. With Crawford out, Roberts intends to split the playing time in left field between veteran Scott Van Slyke and rookie Trayce Thompson.
Eleven days after tweaking his back in the outfield, Scott Van Slyke has not been cleared to resume baseball activity. He may miss another month of baseball, based on the timetable relayed by Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts on Wednesday afternoon at Turner Field. Roberts hoped Van Slyke could be cleared to "to start moving around, start doing some things" like play catch or take part in agility exercises, Roberts said. After that, though, there is still a sizable amount of time needed for Van Slyke to get back into playing condition. "I'd say from the point he starts, to get back to playing with us, it's a couple two, three weeks," Roberts said.
Idle since the first week of the season due to soreness in his lower back, Dodgers outfielder Scott Van Slyke took batting practice Sunday afternoon and could be ready to start a rehabilitation assignment later this week. Manager Dave Roberts sounded upbeat about Van Slyke's progress. Last week, he indicated Van Slyke would still require two more weeks of recovery before he could play in games. Now his timetable has accelerated. "He's moving around really well," Roberts said before Sunday night's series finale against St. Louis.
"Still trying to take it in a little bit," Frederick said. "The name of the game for us has always been focusing on taking things one day at a time and also have the'next man in' mentality. Being able to have Dak step up and be able to take over that role and just support him in any way that we can."