On the first day of an indefinite number of days without Clayton Kershaw, the manager of the Dodgers volunteered the name of a pitcher the team might do well to acquire.
Kershaw is expected to miss four to six weeks because of what the team called a lower back strain, according to a person familiar with the matter. The Dodgers did not release an official timetable for Kershaw’s rehabilitation, and team executives do not plan to discuss the issue publicly until Tuesday.
Three players largely dodged questions about whether the Dodgers’ front office needed to trade for reinforcements. But manager Dave Roberts, the man designated to speak for the organization, did not.
Roberts was asked whether he would pressure the front office to add a player. The question did not name a player, but his answer did.
“I can’t put the pressure on,” Roberts said. “I’m not going to put the pressure on.
“Every team in baseball would want Yu Darvish. That’s easy. Whether it happens or not, I just can’t speculate. It’s a fact we would be better with him, as would 29 other teams. If it happens or not, we’re still going to keep winning baseball games.”
The Dodgers are interested in acquiring Darvish, who could be the best starter on the trade market. The Texas Rangers have yet to commit to trading him and, if they do, they reportedly would want two of the Dodgers’ top four prospects.
Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen said “it’s not my job” to say how the front office should respond to Kershaw’s injury and directed questions to Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations, and general manager Farhan Zaidi. Neither executive was available to speak Monday, team spokesman Joe Jareck said.
“Everybody wants to drive, one day, a Ferrari. Why not, if you get a guy like Yu Darvish?” Jansen said. “But it’s not our decision. We believe in this team. We know we’ve got a great team that can do the job and win a World Series.”
Kershaw missed 10 weeks last season because of a herniated disk in his lower back. Roberts said he is confident Kershaw would return this season because a scan had confirmed this year’s injury does not involve the disk, which the manager said “was our biggest concern.”
If Kershaw were to miss six weeks, he would return in the first week of September. If he were to miss 10 weeks, the regular season would be over, making it unlikely Kershaw could have any impact in the postseason, if he could build up his arm to pitch at all.
“You look at the calendar, and you’re talking about a strain, I think that him making an impact on our club this year is a very safe bet,” Roberts said.
The Dodgers officially put Kershaw and Brandon McCarthy (blister) on the disabled list Monday and optioned outfielder Trayce Thompson to triple-A Oklahoma City. They activated pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu to start Monday and called up r elievers Edward Paredes and Josh Ravin from Oklahoma City.