Clayton Kershaw was placed on the injured list just hours before the Los Angeles Dodgers got their 2020 season underway, but manager Dave Roberts does not seem all that concerned.
After the Dodgers announced on Thursday that Kershaw was placed on the 10-day injured list with back stiffness, Roberts told reporters the ailment is “minimal.” He indicated he does not expect Kershaw to be out long.
In his in-game ESPN interview, Dave Roberts described the severity of Clayton Kershaw's back injury as "minimal."
Said he was encouraged by Kershaw's positive demeanor today: “Hopefully everyday he gets better and will be back with us soon.”
Even if the injury is minor, it is still a concern given Kershaw’s recent history. The left-hander has spent time on the injured list in each of the past four seasons, including with back issues each season from 2016-2018. Last season, Kershaw missed the start of the year with shoulder trouble.
After averaging well over 200 innings pitched each year from 2011-2015, Kershaw has not topped the 200-inning mark in a season since. He did have a strong year in 2019, however, going 16-5 with a 3.03 ERA. With a shortened season and a new playoff format, the Dodgers will likely play it safe with their ace to assure he is fully healthy for the long haul.
The Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher said on Friday that players “can’t be stupid” when it comes to putting themselves in situations that would expose them to the virus.
Clayton Kershaw on players avoiding risk away from the stadium: "I don't know how much different guys have to harp on that because if you want to see the season through, if you want to play the season, if you want to give it its best shot, you can't be stupid."
MLB is attempting to play a 60-game regular season, followed by a postseason. They have changed rules and expanded rosters to account for the likely need to replace players who test positive for the virus as the season progresses.
The goal is to avoid any players/staff contracting the virus, and in the cases where some do get the virus, to avoid an outbreak. The Dodgers will be one of the teams with high expectations of being able to dominate the season. Their 106-56 record last season was the best in the NL.
Major League Baseball is one of several sports leagues that are exploring ways to begin or resume their seasons amid the coronavirus outbreak, and players may have to agree to quarantine in a centralized location in order to make that happen. Like many of his peers, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw has doubts about whether that is feasible.
“Playing in spring training stadiums and quarantining for months without your family and certain things like that, I don’t think that’s doable if you’re talking about doing it for four to five months,” Kershaw said. “You just lose the product on the field because guys aren’t in their natural element. We’re all ready to take drastic measures to make this season happen, but there’s also certain things that will affect the product on the field, and that’s what you have to be careful about.”
Those thoughts are shared by many around the league. Each player has a different set of circumstances, and there are probably plenty who would have no problem with spending several months in a centralized location in Arizona. There are also players who don’t make nearly as much as Kershaw and other stars who are anxious to play baseball by any means necessary in order to collect a full season’s worth of pay — or close to it.
Major League Baseball wants to play as many games as possible when it starts play after the coronavirus pandemic has subsided. That could push the World Series back quite late in the calendar year, which might not be a popular decision.
“I think once you start getting into playing longer in the year, that starts affecting next year. I think you get a little risky the further you go in the season,” Kershaw said, via Mark Townsend of Yahoo Sports. “I think expanding it maybe a couple weeks on the back end, but if you go any further than that, you start talking about Thanksgiving and December for a World Series, that gets a little iffy, in my opinion.”
Thanksgiving has been cited as just about the latest MLB would be willing to conclude the 2020 World Series, but even that pushes Kershaw’s timeline. What we don’t know is whether other players share his view, but that’s the agreement that the league and the MLBPA reached. Ultimately, much will be dictated by when the 2020 season actually starts, if it begins at all.
Clayton Kershaw is getting the nod for the Los Angeles Dodgers on Opening Day once again, but it is far from a legacy token.
The former Cy Young winner told reporters on Monday that the decision for him to get the Opening Day start was made after close consultation with manager Dave Roberts and rising star Walker Buehler.
“We kind of all got together and I said I don’t want a charity Opening Day,” said Kershaw, per Bill Plunkett of the OC Register. “If you want me to do it, great. But if you want Walker to do it, great too. Walker was great about it. I’m thankful that I get to do it.”
The 31-year-old Kershaw (16-5 with a 3.03 ERA and 189 strikeouts) actually had very similar numbers last year to the 25-year-old Buehler (14-4 with a 3.26 ERA and 215 strikeouts). Hyun-Jin Ryu, who signed with Arizona this offseason, started for the Dodgers on Opening Day last season, but Kershaw was unavailable to start due to shoulder inflammation.
Bumgarner is coming off a season in which he posted a career-worst 3.90 ERA, but he’s known as one of the best playoff pitchers of his generation. For a team like the Dodgers, that may be more than any regular season contribution.
Dodgers fans, show everyone who runs LA with this great T-shirt:
Clayton Kershaw faced the media after blowing a 3-1 lead in Game 5 of the NLDS on Wednesday night by allowing back-to-back home runs, and he did not shy away from the truth.
Kershaw, who now has a 4.41 career postseason ERA, admitted after the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 7-3 loss to the Washington Nationals in 10 innings that all the talk about his playoff struggles are true.
“It’s a terrible feeling. I had one job to do — get three outs. No excuses — just didn’t make pitches,” Kershaw said. “I’m not going to hang my head. I’m going to be here, I’m going to try to fight, try to compete. I’m not going to shy away from it; (I will) continue to do it. Everything people say is true right now about the postseason, I understand that. It’s a terrible feeling. It really is. I’m not going to hang my head.”
He can’t really hide or deny it. He gave up back-to-back home runs to blow the lead. He got the big strikeout in the 7th, but he could not have been worse in the 8th. There isn’t really anything else to say.