Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw has landed on the DL for the first time in his career with inflammation to the teres major muscle in his mid back. The move was made retroactively, which means that he is eligible to return to the rotation on April 8th if all goes well this week.
Analysis: Kershaw tested the strained muscle a couple days back and had some minor discomfort when attempting to throw at full intensity, which appears to be the main reason why the Dodgers decided to hold him out for a week or two to nip this in the bud before it becomes a lingering issue. The muscle in question, the teres major, is a small muscle that helps control motion at the scapula (shoulder blade) and rotates the arm inwards, which is most important during the acceleration phase of the throwing motion.
Any time a stabilizing muscle becomes inflamed or strained, it’s cause of concern when we’re talking about a pitcher of Kershaw’s caliber. However, this appears to be more of an acute inflammation more than an actual muscle strain and I think it’s a case of the Dodgers protecting their prized pitcher more than anything else. I’d expect Kershaw to be back in the rotation once his DL stint is over, barring a setback obviously. But at the end of the day, this isn’t something you should be overly concerned about long term. He’ll be back to his Cy Young winning ways in no time.
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