Bumping this thread
Kershaw could be called up to bigs
Lefty exits Minors start after one frame, prompting speculation
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
Dodgers phenom left-hander Clayton Kershaw had the kind of start for Double-A Jacksonville on Thursday night that will only fuel speculation he's about to become a Major Leaguer.
Kershaw faced three Carolina Mudcats, struck out two, then was yanked by manager John Shoemaker, completely healthy. By starting Thursday night, Kershaw is on schedule to start again Tuesday, which happens to be the next time the Dodgers need a fifth starter in Chicago.
But it could be sooner than that. By throwing only one inning and a pregame warmup (the equivalent of a bullpen session), Kershaw could be slipped into the Dodgers rotation as early as Saturday night, when Brad Penny is scheduled to start. That would buy an extra day or more for Penny, who has scuffled through his past four starts while pitching through shoulder stiffness.
Beginning with Tuesday's game in Chicago, the Dodgers will need a fifth starter on about a traditional five-day rotation through the All-Star break. The last time the spot came up on Saturday in Anaheim, manager Joe Torre went with the tandem of Chan Ho Park for four innings (one earned run), followed by Hong-Chih Kuo for four scoreless innings in the 6-3 win.
Kershaw, a first-round Draft pick in 2006, jumped onto the Major League radar during a stunning Spring Training. Brought over from Minor League camp March 9, Kershaw allowed a home run to the first batter he faced in an exhibition game and didn't allow another run in 14 innings, striking out 19 with three walks.
But management sent Kershaw back to Double-A Jacksonville anyway, with a mandate that he pitch no more than 25 innings a month to ration his arm for a possible pennant-stretch role in Los Angeles.