LOS ANGELES — Clayton Kershaw played catch for the second day in a row Saturday, giving the Los Angeles Dodgers another positive sign that he is closer to pitching again than they originally speculated.
The 10-minute session prior to the Dodgers’ game Saturday against San Francisco came after Manager Dave Roberts said Kershaw’s activities would depend upon how he felt after Friday night’s throwing session. How many days in a row will Kershaw be allowed to pick up a baseball?
“That’s in the hands of the medical staff,” Roberts said. “He said he felt good today, and they gave him the green light to go play catch.”
Kershaw was forced by lower back stiffness to end his most recent start after two innings Sunday against Atlanta. The Dodgers originally put a four-to-six-week time frame on Kershaw’s return, but allowed him to resume throwing Friday after he reported feeling no negative symptoms.
“He’ll continue to ramp up, how aggressively I think that’s going to be up to the medical staff,” Roberts said. “They have keen eyes on him, so we’ll see.”
The Dodgers have yet to decide whether their ace who was 15-2 with a baseball-best 2.04 ERA will travel with the team on a road trip next week.
“Being on an airplane, what’s best for his back, how much he’s going to get out of being on the road with us,” Roberts said. “And I’ll defer to him and the trainer.”
The injury, which appears far less serious than the disc herniation that sidelined Kershaw for several months last year, still has the Dodgers taking every precaution with their three-time Cy Young Award winner and the 2014 National League MVP.
“Obviously, with Clayton, we want to have the right people have eyes on him,” said Roberts. “I don’t even want to speculate, but it kind of makes sense that he stays here. But if he has a burning desire to travel with us, we’ll take that into consideration, too.”