Dodgers send Clayton Kershaw back to disabled list with lower back strain

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Just one day after he returned to the Dodgers’ rotation, ace left-hander Clayton Kershaw is headed back to the disabled list. This time, it’s a lower back strain, one the pitcher likened to the mild back injury he sustained in 2017. Manager Dave Roberts said it’s “fair to expect” Kershaw to be out of commission for another month or so.

It’s been a less-than-ideal start to the 2018 season for the lefty, who served nearly a month on the DL after experiencing a bout of tendinitis in his left biceps. Prior to his assignment, he turned in a 2.76 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.7 SO/9 across his first 49 innings of 2018. Still, something didn’t seem quite right when he took the mound for the Dodgers on Thursday. Kershaw delivered five innings of one-run, five-strikeout ball in their 2-1 loss to the Phillies, but couldn’t get his fastball above the mid- to high-80s and didn’t throw it at all in the fifth.

With Kershaw out of commission for the foreseeable future, right-hander Brock Stewart has been recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City. It’ll be Stewart’s fifth stint in the majors this season. The 26-year-old currently sports a 4.61 ERA, 4.0 B/9 and 7.2 SO/9 through 13 2/3 innings out of the bullpen and rotation.

Rays moving spring camp due to damage caused by hurricane

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Rays are relocating their spring base for 2023 due to extensive damage to team training facilities caused by Hurricane Ian.

The Rays have trained since 2009 in Port Charlotte, Florida, about 90 minutes south of St. Petersburg, and intend to explore several options before making a decision on where to hold spring training and play Grapefruit League games when camp opens.

The team and Charlotte County released a joint statement Thursday, saying damage to Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte can’t be repaired in time to host games this winter.

“Charlotte County supports the Rays efforts to secure alternative accommodations for 2023 spring training,” the statement said.

“We are all disappointed for the residents of Charlotte County and the fans there. The community is in the thoughts and hearts of the Rays, and the team will continue to support recovery efforts,” the statement added. “The Rays and Charlotte County intend to develop a restoration plan for Charlotte Sports Park in the coming weeks.”