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    Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw avoids injured list for now
    • June 29, 2023

    DENVER — A day after pulling himself from a one-hit shutout after six innings and only 79 pitches, Clayton Kershaw was still not ready to explain what physical issue is bothering him.

    Kershaw was at Coors Field on Wednesday afternoon and went through a workout, running and lifting some weights. But he did not make himself available to the media, leaving Coors Field to be examined by doctors and then returning for the game.

    After the game, he exited the clubhouse and walked past reporters, declining to answer questions. That left it for Dodgers manager Dave Roberts to try and explain what is going on with his staff ace.

    “I think probably Friday or Saturday he’s going to play catch and then we’ll see if he makes his next start,” Roberts said.

    “Before the game, the plan was for Clayton to make his next start (next week against the Pittsburgh Pirates). I still stand by that, until something changes. … From the training staff, he checked out. He’s going to play catch on Friday, and if he continues to feel good, he’s going to pitch.”

    Roberts would not speak in specifics though he did eliminate Kershaw’s oft-bothersome back as the source of concern and said Wednesday’s exam did not include an MRI.

    “It’s not his back,” Roberts said.

    The only member of the Dodgers’ season-opening rotation not to spend time on the injured list this season, Kershaw leads the staff in starts (16) and innings pitched (95⅓). But a trip to the IL now would afford him a two-week break (until after the All-Star break) while missing just one start (the Dodgers planned to give him extra time off between starts this week).

    “You know what? For me, I wouldn’t be totally opposed to that given what he’s done for us this first half,” Roberts said before the game. “But having a conversation with him, that might be different – and with what he’s done, he has earned that right to be in the conversation.

    “I think probably tomorrow we will talk and see how each passing day he feels. But obviously, if he feels good enough to make his next start like we talked about, then great.”

    MR. 2000

    After Freddie Freeman collected his 2,000th career hit Sunday, fellow veteran J.D. Martinez had a message for him.

    “I told him, I said, ‘Hey, congrats. But you’ve got 1,000 more to go. Lock it in. Let’s go,’” Martinez said.

    Martinez might have been just teasing Freeman. But reaching the 3,000-hit milestone is something Freeman admittedly is targeting.

    “I’m hoping to get more than 2,000 hits in my career, so it’s not something I was really thinking about,” Freeman said Sunday. “If this was 3,000, I would tell you, ‘Yes (it was on my mind).’ Hopefully, we’ll be doing this again in six or seven years.”

    Freeman (signed through 2027) has averaged 180 hits over a full season so far in his career. That pace would get him to 3,000 career hits in five years. Freeman has been remarkably healthy throughout his career, playing at least 158 games in six of the past nine full seasons. But the 33-year-old recognizes that maintaining that pace in the later years of his career will be difficult.

    “Obviously, you get to 2,000, now you want to get to 3,000,” Freeman said. “That’s only in good health and if I can keep playing the way I want to play. Father Time … it’s going to come up at some point.

    “Three thousand hits … if that were to happen, that would be great. But, my main goal is to stay healthy.  If I stay healthy and play 162 like I want to do, I feel like the numbers will be there. Father Time will catch up at some point. But yeah, might as well go for the next thousand since I got to 2,000.”

    Only 33 players in baseball history have reached 3,000 hits. Only five active players have more hits than Freeman – Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera (3,122), Cincinnati’s Joey Votto (2,098), the Padres’ Nelson Cruz (2,051), the Chicago White Sox’s Elvis Andrus (2,036) and Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen (2,012).


    Reliever Daniel Hudson did not make an appearance in the Arizona Complex League on Tuesday or Wednesday as Roberts had said was planned. But Hudson is still expected to join the Dodgers in Kansas City this weekend to make his return from ACL surgery a year ago. …

    Roberts said he believes right-hander Dustin May has begun playing catch. May injured the flexor pronator mass in his right forearm on May 17 and received a platelet-rich plasma injection. He was shut down from throwing for six weeks after that. There is no word on how May’s throwing program will progress from here.

    UP  NEXT

    Dodgers (RHP Emmet Sheehan, 1-0, 1.50 ERA) at Rockies (RHP Chase Anderson, 0-2, 5.79 ERA), Thursday, 5:40 p.m., SportsNet LA, MLB Network, 570 AM

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    ​ Orange County Register