Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw Placed on IL Because of SI Joint Injury

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVMay 13, 2022

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - MARCH 23: Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers delivers a pitch against the Cleveland Guardians during a spring training game at Camelback Ranch on March 23, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Norm Hall/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Dodgers announced Friday that they placed star pitcher Clayton Kershaw on the injured list with right SI joint inflammation.

Kershaw told reporters that an MRI didn't show any structural damage.

L.A. recalled relief pitcher Garrett Cleavinger to take Kershaw's spot on the active roster.

Injuries have been a storyline for the 34-year-old over the past two years. While he made 22 starts last season, finishing 10-8 with a 3.55 ERA, a 1.02 WHIP and 144 strikeouts in 121.2 innings, he missed the postseason with a left forearm injury.

The Dodgers defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in a National League Wild Card Game and then the San Francisco Giants in five games in a division series, but they lost in six games to the Atlanta Braves in the National League Championship Series.

Kershaw chose to return to the Dodgers on a one-year, $17 million deal this offseason, an important re-signing for L.A. after ace Max Scherzer departed for the New York Mets. 

How Kershaw would look after his injury was a big question mark coming into the 2022 campaign, though.

"No matter how you feel in the offseason, no matter how much you do to prepare and to get healthy, you've got to get out there and get to spring training and face teams," he told reporters in April. "I think, for me, there's a little peace of mind that I can do it. ... I've kind of proven mentally, in my head, that I'm OK."

He's compiled a 1.80 ERA, a 0.73 WHIP and 32 strikeouts over 30 innings through five starts.

The Dallas native is no longer the player who won three National Leauge Cy Young Awards and the 2014 NL MVP in his prime, but he's still a top-end starter and a key player for the Dodgers as they seek their second title in three years.

While Kershaw is out, look for Ryan Pepiot to potentially step into the rotation on a full-time basis after he made a spot start Wednesday.