Clayton Kershaw threw a 20-pitch bullpen session this afternoon and manager Don Mattingly indicated that there’s a chance he could return from a hip injury to start for the Dodgers as soon as Sunday.
That would be a huge change from just a few days ago, when the Dodgers feared Kershaw might need season-ending hip surgery that would likely sideline him into 2013.
For now Aaron Harang is scheduled to start Sunday on three days’ rest, which Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times notes would be his first short-rest start since 2008.
As for who’ll make the call regarding Kershaw’ availability, Mattingly said:
It’s going to have to be the medical people saying he’s passed every test and he’s cleared every hurdle. It’s not going to be my decision. It’s an organizational decision with Clayton. Does it make sense? That’s really more than a manager’s decision. When you have a guy with his kind of arm and his upside, you’re not going to leave that decision only in my hands.
That sounds about right. Don Mattingly is a lot of things, but doctor isn’t one of them and allowing Kershaw to pitch through a hip injury that had everyone in Los Angeles holding their breath all week would be a major decision.
Despite the Phillies’ current seven-game losing streak and 6-16 record since May 30, manager Gabe Kapler isn’t going anywhere. Prior to Monday’s series opener against the Mets, GM Matt Klentak gave Kapler a vote of confidence, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports.
Klentak said, “Gabe Kapler is our manager. Our staff is our staff.” He continued, “I’ve been a part of organizations that have made in-season staff changes before. You have to believe that if you’re going to do that that your alternative is better than your status quo. And I believe in our guys. The key to this group succeeding is this group coming together and doing it as a unit. Players, coaches, manager, front office, and believing in each other.”
The Phillies haven’t been performing well for nearly a month now, but the club has also been hobbled by injuries. The injured list currently features Andrew McCutchen, David Robertson, Tommy Hunter, Victor Arano, Pat Neshek, Jerad Eickhoff, Adam Haseley, and Seranthony Domínguez. Odúbel Herrera also remains on the restricted list having been arrested for a domestic violence incident. Seeing Kapler canned might be cathartic for frustrated fans, but it won’t help get anyone back from the injured list.