LOS ANGELES -- Despite the fact that Clayton Kershawthrew a light bullpen session Sunday, the Los Angeles Dodgers' staff ace will not be in the club's rotation when the second half of the season kicks off next weekend at Arizona.
Kershaw will be eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list Friday for the start of the second half, but Sunday's 20-25 pitch bullpen session was the first time he threw from a mound since June 26 at Pittsburgh, so his return to action will have to wait. He played a light game of catch on flat ground last week.
"To see Clayton in a pen, throwing off a mound, is definitely encouraging," manager Dave Roberts said.
Kershaw took the loss in his most recent start, giving up four runs and nine hits to the Pirates, the second-most he has allowed this season in each category. He did not reference an injury after the start, but he was treated for a lower back injury the following day.
The Dodgers ultimately put their three-time Cy Young Award winner on the disabled list with a mild disc herniation. No timetable was given for his return.
Roberts has lined up his second-half rotation without Kershaw in it the first time through the order. For the club's three-game series at Arizona to open the second half, the Dodgers will pitch Bud Norris, Brandon McCarthy and Kenta Maeda, in that order. When the team travels to Washington, Scott Kazmir will open that series, followed by Hyun-Jin Ryu.
The three right-handers to start, followed by the two left-handers, is a partial nod to matchups at Arizona and Washington.
"Yeah, there is a matchup component there, and there is also the rest, with the days off after we come out of the break and how that sets up," Roberts said. "So there are a lot of variables that are baked in when we tried to make those decisions."
Roberts was asked if it is possible that Kershaw could rejoin the rotation later in the trip, either at Washington or at St. Louis. The Dodgers embark on a nine-game, 10-day trip after the All-Star break.
"I'm not sure," Roberts said. "But Bud Norris will start the second half and then McCarthy, Kenta, Kaz and then Ryu. And everyone will stay in their turn."
Clayton Kershaw throws first bullpen session Sunday, will miss first turn after the break