Clayton Kershaw has had one of the best starts of his career this season but will be sidelined indefinitely with a pelvic injury. The Dodgers put the three-time Cy Young Award winner on the injured list on Friday because of an infection in his SI joint.
Kershaw, originally scheduled to start Friday night against the Phillies, has won four of his five starts this season and has a 1.80 ERA over 30 innings. Walker Buehler, who was due to start on Saturday, will rest regularly in Kershaw’s place.
The injury is another setback for 34-year-old Kershaw, who signed a one-year, $17 million deal with the Dodgers in the offseason after going freelance for the first time in his career. After missing the start of the 2019 and 2020 seasons through injury, Kershaw missed last year’s postseason with a left forearm ailment. He also missed two months of the 2021 regular season with an elbow injury.
When he’s 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 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 won 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 this postseason, recording a 2.31 ERA in the Dodgers’ World Series win over the Rays.
In a similar move, the Dodgers recalled Garrett Cleavinger from Triple-A Oklahoma City. Cleavinger, who allowed one run in 1 2/3 innings with the Dodgers this season, has a 3.54 ERA in 25 career games with Los Angeles.