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When is Clayton Kershaw Coming Back? Fantasy Baseball Injury Return Update

Clayton Kershaw - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Starting Pitchers, Starts and Sits

Clayton Kershaw just refuses to quit. The future Hall of Famer endured a "down" 2021 season in which he turned in a 3.55 ERA, a figure well above his current 2.48 career mark. However, he followed that up with a tidy 2.28 ERA and a 23.1% K-BB% across 22 starts in the 2022 season and a 2.46 ERA and 18.5% K-BB% across 24 starts a season ago.

Of course, the only thing that's been an issue for the left-hander of late is injuries. A wonky back has bothered him in recent campaigns but it's his left shoulder that has him sitting on the 60-day injured list at the moment. At 36 and with plenty of innings on that left arm, it's hardly a surprise that Kershaw has battled the injury bug of late.

Let's dive in and find out where Kershaw currently stands with his shoulder injury and what time of timeline fantasy managers can expect for a (hopefully) healthy return.

Be sure to check all of our fantasy baseball lineup tools and weekly lineup resources:


Clayton Kershaw Injury Update for Fantasy Baseball

Jack Harris of the L.A. Times has reported that Kershaw threw a 20-pitch bullpen session on May 7 that consisted mostly of fastballs, both of the four and two-seam variety. It was the southpaw's second bullpen session after he tossed his first on May 3.

Harris added that Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts said it's all been "really encouraging" so far. The next steps for Kershaw are ramping up his bullpens and mixing in breaking stuff.


Clayton Kershaw Fantasy Baseball Outlook

As noted, the only thing that's impeeded Kershaw's fantasy value of late has been injuries. They haven't exactly decimated him but he has made just 68 starts over the last three seasons and hasn't thrown a minimum of 30 starts since tossing 33 in the 2015 season.

Additionally, while his 2.46 ERA from last season suggests he was in fine form, there were several red flags. Note his 4.03 FIP, 3.82 SIERA, and 1.30 HR/9 rate specifically. Additionally, he managed to strand 89.3% of his runners while allowing only a .250 average on batting balls in play, figures that do not add up relative to his career numbers. His 7.6% BB% was his highest since 2010.

While he could be an option within the next month, fantasy managers may want to exercise caution. Not only is he almost certainly due for regression, but he is also coming off of offseason shoulder surgery. A healthy return is not guaranteed and a healthy, productive return is uncertain.

His track record speaks for itself. However, the circumstances suggest fantasy managers should not expect vintage Kershaw this summer.

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