Despite the death of his mother on Saturday, Clayton Kershaw still plans to make his next scheduled start for the Dodgers on Tuesday, manager Dave Roberts said.
“He’s fine,” Roberts said Sunday before the Dodgers’ Mother’s Day game against the San Diego Padres. “I’m sure he has a heavy heart that day. But as far as I understand it, he will start on Tuesday.”
Kershaw’s mother Marianne died on Saturday morning.
Kershaw’s wife, Ellen, announced the news this afternoon during a ceremony in Inglewood that dedicated two baseball fields in honor of the Kershaw’s Challenge pitcher foundation.
“She felt no greater joy than watching her son grow into the man, philanthropist, father and ballplayer that he is today,” Ellen said in a speech recorded by Sports Central LA.
“[She] moved mountains to get him to baseball practice and the games. She sat in the front row and cheered him on – not quite so subtly – and jotted down points in a book to keep her nerves in check. So today we dedicate this field to his sweet mother.”
Kershaw declined to discuss the situation on Sunday, but Roberts hinted the 35-year-old may no longer be on the team’s mourning list following Tuesday’s assignment.
“It’s not surprising,” Roberts said of Kershaw’s desire to pitch. “And then, once he’s started, I’m sure there will be some things that he’ll attend, a ceremony or a service if they choose to.”
When asked about Kershaw’s ability to segment his pitch amid such personal tragedy, Roberts called the three-time Cy Young Award winner “quite remarkable.”
“Dealing with the death of a parent,” Roberts said, “is about as difficult as it gets.”
Roberts also confirmed that Noah Syndergaard will start on Monday.
The right-hander had to abandon his last start after one inning with a blister on his index finger, but said he felt good during a bullpen session on Saturday and doesn’t expect the blister to cause him any problems when the Dodgers defeat their streak the Minnesota Twins open it this week.
“He came through yesterday’s pen fine,” Roberts said. “Today he upped the ante with catch play. So I think we’re ready to go now.”
Should either situation change over the next few days, the Dodgers gave themselves some rotational flexibility Sunday by barring top contender Gavin Stone from his planned Triple-A start — which leaves him for this week would keep available if needed.