The Los Angeles Dodgers are preparing for another stretch run, with a championship being the ultimate goal as always. However, that goal might end up being more difficult to achieve, given the extended absence of the franchise's greatest pitcher in a generation.
Clayton Kershaw's back injury forced him to keep his work light this week, throwing a four-inning simulated game before being pulled. The Dodgers are waiting to see if the pain stops, but if it continues to linger, the ace might require surgery in the very near future. So near, in fact, that it could sideline Kershaw for the rest of the season, which would be a huge drag for L.A. Manager Dave Roberts isn't guaranteeing the surgery, but it's becoming a real possibility for the club as July comes to an end.
Here's what else is happening around the National League West:
Arizona manager Chip Hale is certainly on the hot seat, as his team continues to underperform.
Amidst a construction dispute on their new stadium, the Hartford Yard Goats will be forced to play home games on the road.
Like most teams in Major League Baseball, the Giants are after a White Sox pitcher this trading season, but only under a specific set of circumstances.
Padres pitcher Andrew Cashner is expected to be trade bait before July 31.
The Rockies would be much better off if Chad Bettis could return to his old ways on the mound.
As Mike Piazza prepares for his Hall of Fame induction ceremony this weekend, it's a good time to ponder just how good he could have been for the Dodgers, had he stayed in L.A.