MILWAUKEE -- Clayton Kershaw, the 20-year-old phenom, probably pitched himself out of a potential Major League debut this Saturday, Dodgers manager Joe Torre indicated Tuesday.
Kershaw was inserted back into the rotation for Double-A Jacksonville on Monday night, which would put him on a five-day schedule to start Saturday for the Dodgers in Anaheim. But he was pushed around by Mobile, charged with five runs on five hits and two wild pitches in 3 1/3 innings.
"They had him lined up, but he didn't pitch very well," said Torre. "We haven't made the decision, but to me, it's doubtful."
The Dodgers need a fifth starter Saturday because Esteban Loaiza won't be eligible to be activated from the disabled list until Sunday. The Dodgers won't need a fifth starter again until May 27, another reason it's doubtful they would call up Kershaw for Saturday.
Players sent to the Minor Leagues must remain there for 10 days. If he pitched Saturday and was sent down, Kershaw wouldn't be eligible to be recalled to pitch on May 27. That's the more likely date for the left-hander's arrival because the Dodgers would need a fifth starter virtually every turn through the rotation until the All-Star break. The Dodgers have been trying to limit Kershaw's innings because he pitched only 122 innings last year and they want him fresh for a Major League stretch run.
Torre said the logical candidates to start Saturday are long relievers Hong-Chih Kuo and Chan Ho Park, depending on how they are used this week. Kuo has three starts already this year, Park none.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.