|Will Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw pitch again this season? (Getty Images)|
Disconcerting news for the Dodgers: Reigning Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw will miss his next scheduled start because of lingering hip discomfort. He'll also see a specialist in New York on Tuesday, and, as MLB.com's Ken Gurnick reports, the Dodgers expect that he'll require arthroscopic surgery on his labrum.
Kershaw's last start -- a strong seven-inning outing against Arizona -- had been pushed back because of hip pain. Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that manager Don Mattingly said Kershaw won't pitch again this season if there's any chance of lasting damage to his hip. If he undergoes surgery, however, Mattingly's point is moot.
Kershaw had been scheduled to oppose Adam Wainwright on Sunday in a critical game against the Cardinals, whom the Dodgers are chasing for the second NL wild-card bid. Instead, Stephen Fife (2.16 ERA in three starts this season) will take the mound.
Kershaw boasts an ERA of 2.70 this season and an NL-leading innings total of 206 2/3. Considering the suspect nature of the Dodgers rotation behind Kershaw, the loss of their lefty ace would strike a serious blow to their playoff hopes. And even if the Dodgers did back into the postseason, could they possibly last long with a rotation of Josh Beckett, Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang, Joe Blanton and Fife?