The Los Angeles Dodgers announced their ace southpaw hurler and two-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw is scheduled to start for their Double-A affiliate Chattanooga Lookouts against the Tennessee Smokies as part of a Major League Rehab Assignment on Wednesday evening at AT&T Field in Chattanooga, Tennessee at 7:15 p.m. ET.
The left-hander, considered by many to currently be the best pitcher in baseball, is recovering from lower back inflammation after being placed on the Disabled List on March 23 for the first time in his career. It will be the second rehab outing for the lefty after allowing an earned run on two hits, striking out six in five innings of work with High-A Rancho Cucamonga on May 25.
The 26-year-old earned his second National League Cy Young Award following the 2013 season after recording a 16-9 mark and 1.83 ERA (48 ER in 236.0 IP) in 33 starts for the Dodgers, adding 232 strikeouts. The 1.83 earned-run average and 232 punchouts both led the Major Leagues, and the left-hander was awarded by the Dodgers with the richest contract ever for a pitcher this past offseason, signing a seven-year, $215 million deal.
The three-time All-Star was also honored with the NL's 2011 Cy Young Award after winning the Triple Crown by leading the circuit in wins (21), earned-run average (2.28) and strikeouts (248), and was also named a Gold Glove award winner at his position. Kershaw also was named the Roberto Clemente Award winner in 2012, given to the player in Major League Baseball who "best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual's contribution to his team".
Kershaw pitched in the Southern League over a span of two seasons in 2007 and 2008, posting a 3-5 record and 2.41 ERA (23 ER in 86.0 IP) in 18 games (16 starts) for the Jacksonville Suns, who were the Dodgers' Double-A affiliate at that time. In two starts against the Smokies in 2008, the Texas native recorded an 0-1 mark and 1.54 ERA (2 ER in 11.2 IP).
The Smokies are scheduled to give the nod to right-hander Ivan Pineyro (0-2, 1.74) to oppose the Major League rehabber in the series opening contest on Wednesday evening, with first pitch scheduled for 7:15 p.m. ET. The game can be heard on the Smokies' flagship station 99.1 FM The Sports Animal, in addition to online at www.smokiesbaseball.com, as well as via the Smokies' app.