The Dodgers announced Thursday that left-hander Clayton Kershaw has been reinstated from the 15-day injured list and infield prospect Miguel Vargas has been recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City. That pair represents the team’s initial September call-ups, though it’s not the only pair of moves made today. Los Angeles also placed right-hander Brusdar Graterol on the 15-day injured list due to inflammation in his right elbow. Fellow righty Phil Bickford is up from Oklahoma City to take his spot on the roster.
Kershaw wound up missing just under a month of action after being placed on the injured list due to a lower back injury. He’ll step back into the rotation and look to continue what has been yet another largely successful campaign when healthy; in 85 1/3 innings this season, Kershaw carries a 2.64 ERA with a sharp 26.2% strikeout rate against a tiny 4.5% walk rate. He’ll join the recently activated Dustin May, Julio Urias, Andrew Heaney and Tyler Anderson in a Dodgers rotation that is currently missing Walker Buehler (Tommy John surgery) and Tony Gonsolin (forearm strain).
For Graterol, it’ll be a quick return to the injured list. The 24-year-old flamethrower was out from July 14 through Aug. 22 due to a shoulder injury and will now be placed back on the shelf for a yet-to-be-determined period of time. He’s been an integral part of a Dodgers relief corps that has been frequently beset by injuries in 2022, contributing 44 2/3 innings of 3.02 ERA ball with a 22.2% strikeout rate, 5.7% walk rate and massive 62.9% ground-ball rate. The Dodger bullpen has remained strong even amid myriad injury troubles, however, and they’re expected to reinstate Blake Treinenwho’s been out since late April, as soon as tomorrow, which should help to soften the blow of losing Graterol.
This is the second Major League stint of the season for the 22-year-old Vargas, who’s widely considered to be among the game’s 50 or so top prospects. He’s had a big year in the upper minors, hitting .304/.404/.511 in 520 plate appearances at the Triple-A level. Bickford, 27, has a 5.14 ERA in 49 innings of bullpen work with the Dodgers this season.