Clayton Kershaw has gotten off to one of the best starts of his career this season, but he’ll be sidelined indefinitely with a pelvic injury. The Dodgers placed the three-time Cy Young Award winner on the injured list Friday due to inflammation in his SI joint.
Kershaw, who was originally slated to start against the Phillies on Friday night, has won four of his five starts this season and posted a 1.80 ERA across 30 innings. Walker Buehler, who was slated to start Saturday, will pitch on regular rest in Kershaw’s place.
The injury is another setback for Kershaw, 34, who re-signed with the Dodgers on a one-year, $17 million contract in the offseason after entering free agency for the first time in his career. After missing the start of the 2019 and 2020 seasons due to injury, Kershaw missed last year’s postseason due to left forearm discomfort. He also missed two months of the 2021 regular season with an elbow injury.
When healthy, Kershaw is one of the best pitchers in baseball, as evidenced by this year’s hot start. On April 13 at Target Field, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts pulled Kershaw after seven perfect innings against the Twins in a move done to preserve Kershaw’s health.
In 2019 — Kershaw’s last full season — the left-hander was an All-Star and finished the year with a 3.03 ERA in 178 1/3 innings. His best season came in 2014, when he went 21-3 with a 1.77 ERA en route to the Cy Young and MVP Awards. Kershaw also won the pitching Triple Crown in 2011.
Despite missing the start of the 2020 season, Kershaw was healthy for that postseason and recorded a 2.31 ERA in the Dodgers’ World Series victory over the Rays.
In a corresponding move, the Dodgers recalled Garrett Cleavinger from Triple-A Oklahoma City. Cleavinger, who has allowed one run in 1 2/3 innings with the Dodgers this season, has a 3.54 ERA across 25 career games with Los Angeles.