Some concerning news out of Dodgers camp, as lefty ace Clayton Kershaw has been shut down for the time being. Per Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times, manager Dave Roberts says Kershaw has ceased throwing after feeling that something was amiss following a bullpen session. Roberts termed it an "arm kind of thing" and gave no timetable for a return to throwing. Kershaw will, however, take part in his usual non-throwing workouts.
Kershaw, who turns 31 next month, signed a three-year, $93 million extension earlier this offseason in lieu of free agency via opt-out. He's dealt with declining velocity, but he remains an excellent pitcher in terms of run prevention, at least on a rate basis ...
The problem has been health and durability. From 2010 through 2013, Kershaw worked four straight seasons of at least 200 innings. Since then, though, he's topped 200 innings in a season only once, and he's managed a qualifying number of innings just three times in the last five years. In matters related, Kershaw's been on the disabled list four times since June of 2016, usually for back problems. On the one hand, it's presumably a good thing that his back isn't troubling this time around. On the other hand, an "arm kind of thing" isn't exactly comforting.
Roberts doesn't sound overly concerned, and it's not unusual for pitchers to feel a bit off this early in the baseball calendar. The hope is that this is as minor as it seems and that Kershaw will soon resume his typical spring program. Fortunately for the Dodgers, they have a great deal of pitching depth, both on the likely active roster and in the upper rungs of the system. Suffice it to say, though, it's not easy to replace the likes of Kershaw.