Kershaw To Disabled List is Only One of 29

The Dodgers made headlines late yesterday when they announced that Two-time Cy Young Award Winner and $215 M man Clayton Kershaw would not start tonight, would not start next Friday, as anticipated, and would in fact begin the season on the disabled list.

That brings the number of major league pitchers who, were it not for injuries, would be in their respective teams starting rotation as the season opens, to an amazing total of 29. The list:

National League:

Clayton Kershaw, LAD
Josh Beckett, LAD
Chad Billingsley, LAD
Patrick Corbin, AZ
Cory Luebke, SD
Josh Johnson, SD
Doug Fister, WAS
Kris Medlen, ATL
Brandon Beachy, ATL
Gavin Floyd, ATL
Mike Minor, ATL
Matt Harvey, NYM
Jonathon Niese, NYM
Cole Hammels, PHI
Mat Latos, CIN
Jhoulys Chacin, COL
Jeff Locke, PIT
James McDonald, CHIC
American League:

Ryan Dempster, BOS
Jeremy Hellickson, TB
Johan Santana, BAL
Jarrod Parker, OK
A.J. Griffin, OK
Yu Darvish, TX
Matt Harrison, TX
Derek Holland, TX
Hisashi Iwakuma, SEA
Taijuan Walker, SEA
J.A. Happ, TOR

Some of these injuries are minor, but many are season-ending. Some of these pitchers are number five starters, but many like Kershaw, Corbin, Medlen, Harvey, Hammels, Darvish and others, are aces.

With so many pitchers out and so many teams affected, you could almost call it a wash. Not so in the NL East, where Atlanta’s rotation without Medlen, Beachy, and Minor puts the Braves at a distinct disadvantage behind Washington and a healthy group that includes Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmerman. As I’ve discussed before, with the devastation to the Oakland and Texas staffs, the Angels and their questionable and unproven starting depth move up considerably in the AL West, almost to the point of making them the favorites.

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I’ve previously discussed my theory as to why so many pitchers, and especially why so many young pitchers, suffer serious injuries to the tendons in their elbows, but interestingly enough, several of the above named pitchers are on the DL due to back and neck injuries. I don’t know how Darvish hurt his back, or how Ryan Dempster hurt his neck, or how Matt Harrison hurt his back, or how J.A. Hupp hurt his back, but I bet the two 14-hour flights had a whole lot

to do with Kershaw’s swollen back muscle.

Following his MRI, he called the injury more frustrating than anything, and said he felt he would only be moving back his next start. Two days ago, he played catch, and was penciled in to start next Friday. Yesterday, he threw actual pitches, and he threw 26 without incident. But, the 27th pitch caused him pain, and that pain landed him on the DL, with 28 other major league starting pitchers.

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