Dodgers Name Clayton Kershaw Opening Day Starter

Halfway through winter, there wasn’t much debate as to which pitchers would make up the quintet of the Dodgers starting rotation, so long as everyone stayed healthy. Furthermore, there wasn’t any doubt at all who would take the hill on Opening Day against the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium.

Once again, the 2019 honors go to Clayton Kershaw.

Skipper Dave Roberts announced the decision to the media on Tuesday.

The starting nod will be Kersh’s ninth career Opening Day start, extending his own team record.

“It’s very cool,” Kershaw told reporters not long after the announcement. “Opening Day symbolizes a lot of things. I’m excited about it. Being on the same team that long, a team with a long list of great starting pitchers, to be associated with them is kind of special.”

Los Angeles won all of Kershaw’s first seven Opening Day starts, as he compiled a 5-0 record with a 0.99 ERA during that span. However, his win streak was broken in 2018 when the Dodgers were blanked by the Giants, 1-0.

The three-year, $93 million contract extension that Kershaw signed over the winter was seemingly swept under the rug, mainly because management took care of all the loose ends before the MLB Hot Stove was able to gain any momentum. Kerhsaw could have opted out of his previous pact with the Dodgers, but he ultimately agreed to the deal without many complications, easing the collective conscience of the fan base.

Kershaw was the team’s first pick in the 2006 draft, joining the big league squad in 2008. The Dodgers have gone to the playoffs in almost every year he has been in the rotation, including winning six straight division titles from 2013-2018, three straight NLCS appearances, and back-to-back World Series appearances in 2017-18.  Kershaw won the NL Cy Young in 2013, 2104, and 2106.  He also was the NL MVP for the 2014 season.

Nevertheless, Kershaw was on the disabled list twice last season with shoulder and back issues. He went 9-5, but his 2.73 ERA would have still placed him fourth in the National League had he reached the qualifying innings amount. Overall, he pitched a total of 191-1/3 innings, including the postseason. He went the first six years of his Major League career without being on the disabled list at all, but has been placed on the shelf five times in the last five seasons.

Moreover, there has been a lot of chatter about the ace’s decreasing velocity, especially during last season. Over the winter break, front office boss Andrew Friedman downplayed the overall need for Kersh to increase his velocity, adding that better execution would be enough for improved success. However, Roberts noted that an uptick would increase Kershaw’s margin for error, while giving him more confidence to throw fastballs glove side and also playing up his slider.

“There’s so much data now, body movements and things, and how you can be out of whack with your mechanics that you can kind of work on and work through, that it’s in there,” Roberts explained. “And the No. 1 thing for me — his work ethic, his desire, and he’s healthy.”

Regardless of his velocity and his 2018 statistics, Kersh remains one of the top starting pitchers in all of baseball—for now.



Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers Reach New Contract Agreement


Clayton Kershaw will be in Dodger Blue at least for three more years. On Friday, the team announced that they had re-signed their homegrown, multi Cy Young winning pitcher to a one-year extension in addition to the two years remaining on his current contract.

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Potential Fallout from Clayton Kershaw’s Contract Decision


The first big domino of the offseason is about to drop for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and it involves the decision by possibly the best regular season pitcher of the last half-century.

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Regardless of Rotation Spot, Clayton Kershaw Still Vital to Dodgers’ Staff


There’s been a lot of chatter the last few days about the Dodgers‘ decision to start Hyun-Jin Ryu in Game 1 of the 2018 NLDS over Clayton Kershaw. So far, that decision has worked out. The Dodgers dominated the Atlanta Braves, 6-0, taking a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series.

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What Should Dodgers Expect from Clayton Kershaw on Saturday?

(USA TODAY Sports photo)

Thanks mainly in part to the national weather forecast, the Dodgers will get a much earlier look at staff ace Clayton Kershaw than initially anticipated, setting up a duel with the Mets’ No. 1 arm Jacob deGrom.

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Looking Back at the 2017 World Series & Who Was Blamed for How It Ended

(Mandatory Credit: Joe Comporeale/USA TODAY Sports)

Blame is a far more common idea in baseball than people may think. We, as fans, always look for someone, or something to blame, because we have no actual control over the game. We just sit on our couches, or in our seats at the stadium, and yell as the home plate umpire makes a bad call. That is not out of character for fans of baseball, or sports in general. A certain level of complaining is in our nature. Tuesday night, even, I was thinking, or rather critiquing, about how the Dodgers could have won had they taken advantage of the bases loaded situations when they had them.

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Dodgers’ Starting Rotation Finally Approaching Full-Strength

(Mandatory Credit: Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

If you happened to catch one of several breaking stories during Monday’s rather lengthy delay in Chicago, you would have learned that staff ace Clayton Kershaw may soon be ready for major league action, coming one step closer to bringing the club’s starting rotation back to the original Opening day five.

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Clayton Kershaw Won’t Save the Dodgers This Season, and That’s Okay

(Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

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With the news that Dodgers‘ ace Clayton Kershaw arrived on the disabled list with a lower-back strain, the troubling pattern of increasing—and more severe—injuries reared its ugly head yet again. I’m not in Kershaw’s shoes, so I cannot advise him on what he should or should not do. But I can certainly say that I am concerned about his long-term health, both as a fan and as a fellow human being.

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Despite Injuries, Clayton Kershaw Should Be a Dodger for Life


I suppose sports are just meant to break your heart. The Dodgers have definitely done that to me so many times in the last decade or so. I fully acknowledge that sometimes, a fan is wont to think more with their heart than with their head. But there are also some players that are so rare, that you can’t help but never want them to play for any other team but yours.

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