Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw got a second opinion on his hip today, which revealed nothing new from the doctor, but we did get a few tidbits dropped on the situation by other people.
Clayton Kershaw was examined Tuesday by a hip specialist, who said the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner can continue to pitch without risking further damage to his right hip, but the Dodgers will not allow Kershaw to take the mound if the pain persists.
While the team traveled to Washington on Tuesday for a series opener with the Nationals that was postponed by rain, Kershaw was examined by Dr. Bryan Kelly at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. Kelly agreed with the initial diagnosis made by team physician Neal ElAttrache that Kershaw has an impingement of the right hip, meaning the joint is pinched during rotation of the hip while pitching.
The team said Kershaw would resume his throwing program on Tuesday, though manager Don Mattingly did not commit to any decision regarding his ace’s spot in the rotation. The Dodgers entered Tuesday one game behind the Cardinals for the second Wild Card spot in the National League.
That sounds like good news, right? He can resume throwing and can’t do any more damage to the hip by continuing to pitch.
Yet the reality seems a lot different. After all, the reason this is an issue to begin with is because he felt he simply couldn’t do it without the assistance of cortisone shots.
“He’s really competitive, but also he knows he can’t pitch,” Mattingly said. “In certain points, he knows he can’t pitch. When he can’t go out and throw, he knows he can’t compete. So it brings you to realism. When you can’t throw, you can’t go out and compete. So at that point, you know you’ve got to take care of it.”
Yeah, that doesn’t make it sound like throwing would do anything positive for the team to begin with.
“I know he’s tried to keep throwing by not using his hips,” Mattingly said. “He’ll try to keep his arm moving as much as he possibly can.”
The Dodgers ace, who throws in the mid-90s, trying to take his hips and core out of his throwing motion and put more stress on his arm? That sounds like an awesome workaround!
No wait, it sounds like the worst idea ever.
Not injuring his hip further is one thing, but anybody who throws or hits knows that a significant part of velocity and power stems from the trunk of the body and, specifically, hip rotation. Therefore, the risk wouldn’t be to his hip but to his golden arm, and that’s where the problem lies for me.