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Friday, June 01, 2018

Dodgers place Clayton Kershaw on DL again with back injury

Kershaw’s back tightened up during the Phillies game—he gave up four hits and one earned run in five innings—and he stayed in Los Angeles for additional tests.

All 20 of his four-seam fastballs were 90.0 mph or slower on Thursday, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Last year, not a single one of his 1,142 four-seam fastballs was 90.0 mph or slower.

Welp, that was fast.

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 01, 2018 at 07:42 PM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: clayton kershaw, dodgers

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   1. Baldrick Posted: June 01, 2018 at 08:12 PM (#5684325)
This makes me very unhappy.
   2. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: June 02, 2018 at 02:56 AM (#5684459)
I asked this before the season: Has Kershaw won his last Cy Young?
   3. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: June 02, 2018 at 07:24 AM (#5684462)
At what point do Kershaw and the Dodgers consider trying him as an ultra dominant closer and see if he can hold up to the lesser workload?
   4. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 02, 2018 at 08:02 AM (#5684467)
A $35 million a year closer?
   5. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: June 02, 2018 at 08:09 AM (#5684470)
Are pitchers having longer careers because of improved medicine/nutrition, or shorter careers because they all throw the ball so damn hard?
   6. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: June 02, 2018 at 08:38 AM (#5684473)
A $35 million a year closer


Beats a $35 million a year non-player sitting on the DL. That money’s spent regardless.

At some point it must become clear that Kershaw’s body can’t handle 200 innings a year anymore. Maybe he just can’t handle pitching at all anymore, but in any case 60 high leverage innings a year is better than <150 low leverage innings, if those are your only options. In modern times it’s probably a more viable option than making a Sunday pitcher of him.

Are pitchers having longer careers because of improved medicine/nutrition, or shorter careers because they all throw the ball so damn hard?


Aside from Tommy John surgery saving the careers of pitchers who would have been forced out by UCL injuries decades ago, pitchers are having the same length careers they always have. Pitching ruins most people’s arms and as yet we’ve discovered nothing that can be done about it.
   7. Nasty Nate Posted: June 02, 2018 at 09:50 AM (#5684485)
Is the probability of using the opt out slipping away like so many disks in his back?
   8. Greg K Posted: June 02, 2018 at 11:17 AM (#5684501)
I think there is a point at which you throw in the towel on starting. But even in his injury riddled past two seasons he's started 20+ games a year with an ERA around 2.00. Roy Halladay missed a similar amount of time in his late 20s and he ended up having about 200+ more starts left in the tank.

That's a lot of value to give up on a hunch.
   9. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: June 02, 2018 at 11:20 AM (#5684502)
I think there is a point at which you throw in the towel on starting. But even in his injury riddled past two seasons he's started 20+ games a year with an ERA around 2.00. Roy Halladay missed a similar amount of time in his late 20s and he ended up having about 200+ more starts left in the tank.


So did Schilling.
   10. McCoy Posted: June 02, 2018 at 11:22 AM (#5684503)
Kerry Wood didn't stay any healthier or as effective switching to a closer role. Gagne went down and needed TJ surgery.
   11. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 02, 2018 at 11:45 AM (#5684505)
At some point it must become clear that Kershaw’s body can’t handle 200 innings a year anymore. Maybe he just can’t handle pitching at all anymore, but in any case 60 high leverage innings a year is better than <150 low leverage innings, if those are your only options. In modern times it’s probably a more viable option than making a Sunday pitcher of him.


If he still pitches like Kershaw, I think 20-25 GS as a "Sunday starter" is way more valuable than even the best closer.

Is the probability of using the opt out slipping away like so many disks in his back?

Would you give him 5/165 at this point? I think he's much better off keeping the 2/70 contract, and hoping he gets past the injuries.

He'll only be 33 at the end of his current deal, and 33 is not old for an elite pitcher, if he's healthy.
   12. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: June 02, 2018 at 12:08 PM (#5684510)
If he still pitches like Kershaw, I think 20-25 GS as a "Sunday starter" is way more valuable than even the best closer.


In theory yes, but with modern pitcher usage I think that would probably be viewed as an excessively disruptive way to use one pitcher.
   13. Nasty Nate Posted: June 02, 2018 at 12:24 PM (#5684513)
The back isn't done evolving yet. You see, the spine is a row of vertebrae. It was designed to be horizontal. Then people came along and used it vertical...It's an engineering design problem. It's a misallocation. We were given a clothesline and we're using it as a flagpole.
   14. Nasty Nate Posted: June 02, 2018 at 12:31 PM (#5684515)
If he still pitches like Kershaw, I think 20-25 GS as a "Sunday starter" is way more valuable than even the best closer.
In theory yes, but with modern pitcher usage I think that would probably be viewed as an excessively disruptive way to use one pitcher.
Maybe, but the Angels are doing it with Ohtani (in admittedly wildly different circumstances).

And the Dodgers themselves have already been doing funky things with their rotation in recent years. 45 of their starts were on 6+ days of rest last year and 115 on 5+.
   15. bunyon Posted: June 02, 2018 at 12:57 PM (#5684520)
I'd say he shouldn't opt out. 2/70 and if he can manage to pitch full seasons those two years, he'll put the worries to rest. No way I'd sign him after this season to a long contract.

Which is a damn shame.
   16. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 02, 2018 at 01:03 PM (#5684522)
I'd say he shouldn't opt out. 2/70 and if he can manage to pitch full seasons those two years, he'll put the worries to rest. No way I'd sign him after this season to a long contract.

Which is a damn shame.


It's just the nature of the beast. Pitchers have always gotten hurt, always will. It's deeply un-natural to throw a ball 95 MPH, 100 times in 3 hours.

Luckily it seems like none of these injuries is really career threatening. More like chronic problems that will crop up from time to time.

It's likely he can still put together a good second act, but to expect him to keep up his 2010-15 pace is too much to ask of anybody.
   17. Ziggy's screen name Posted: June 02, 2018 at 01:30 PM (#5684524)
Let's hold off on the obituaries for a while. I know he's had some injuries the past couple years, but the man led the league in ERA and came in second in the Cy Young voting last year. To talk about a switch to the bullpen is, at least given the information that is publicly available, quite premature.
   18. PreservedFish Posted: June 02, 2018 at 01:40 PM (#5684528)
Agreed. They're 2-3 years away from that conversation.
   19. bfan Posted: June 02, 2018 at 04:04 PM (#5684577)
Does this make them less likely to go "all in" and trade many prospects for Machado?
   20. spycake Posted: June 02, 2018 at 04:39 PM (#5684584)
Would you give him 5/165 at this point? I think he's much better off keeping the 2/70 contract, and hoping he gets past the injuries.


Teams could do a creative "5/165" that guarantees him less... something like the Arrieta deal?
   21. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 02, 2018 at 04:56 PM (#5684587)
Teams could do a creative "5/165" that guarantees him less... something like the Arrieta deal?

Yeah, but the guarantee would have to be pretty high to get him to give up 2/70 guaranteed. 5/165 with only 100-120 guaranteed, if worse than 2/70. Barring complete collapse, he's going to earn $15-20M p.a. in those 3 years.

Keshaw was so good, that team will keep throwing 1 year contracts for decent $ for a long time after he ceases pitching great.
   22. perros Posted: June 02, 2018 at 05:40 PM (#5684599)
He's got a bad back, but it's entirely possible the issue resolves itzelf favorably in time. And he's had no significant arm injuries. Even if he has to back off thr fastball as he ages, he's still one of the best, as witnessed Thursday.

And just because he's so good doesn't mean he'll never be hurt.
   23. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 02, 2018 at 05:45 PM (#5684603)
He's got a bad back, but it's entirely possible the issue resolves itzelf favorably in time.

Well, bad backs don't really get better, but they can be managed with the right exercise and stretching regimen.

And he's had no significant arm injuries. Even if he has to back off thr fastball as he ages, he's still one of the best, as witnessed Thursday.

That's true.

And just because he's so good doesn't mean he'll never be hurt.

That's especially true. I expect every pitcher to miss the equivalent of one season out of four due to injury.

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