No surprise – Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw will make ninth Opening Day start

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “It just means I’m old, I guess,” Kershaw joked. “You don’t ever want to make light of the situation. It’s very cool. The cliché is it’s just another game and it is. But I guess Opening Day means a lot, symbolizes a lot of things. I’m excited about it. It’ll be cool.”The major-league record for consecutive Opening Day starts is held by Hall of Famer Jack Morris, who did it with three teams (the Detroit Tigers, Toronto Blue Jays and Minnesota Twins). The longest stretch of consecutive Opening Day starts with one team is 12 by another Hall of Famer, Robin Roberts, who did it with the Philadelphia Phillies.“To be with the same team that long, with the Dodgers a team with such a long list of great starting pitchers, to be associated with them is kind of special,” Kershaw said.Kershaw has a 1.05 ERA (six earned runs over 51-2/3 innings) with 59 strikeouts and eight walks in his eight previous Opening Day starts. The Dodgers won the first seven but lost 1-0 to the Giants on Opening Day last year.MANNY MONEYWhen the news broke Tuesday morning that Manny Machado had agreed to a 10-year, $300 million deal with the San Diego Padres, the Dodgers were just taking the field for the first full-squad workout of the spring. Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies Hernandez and Taylor are right-handed hitters. Muncy is the Dodgers’ only left-handed option at the position. Moving him there against right-handed pitching would free up first base for Cody Bellinger (expected to play more in right field this year) and is “a possibility,” Roberts acknowledged Tuesday.“We still have time to hone in on that,” Roberts said. “And things can change as they always do. Right now, he’s going to take some grounders there. But a lot of his work is going to be at first base.”BUEHLER’S DAYDodgers right-hander Walker Buehler is the only one of the team’s starting pitchers who hasn’t thrown a bullpen session during camp. Roberts said the team is “slow-playing” him after a 177-inning workload last season.Buehler is tentatively scheduled to throw his first bullpen session on Wednesday.“But if I don’t, nobody freak out,” he warned reporters Tuesday.center_img GLENDALE, Ariz. — It is the least surprising news of Dodgers spring training every year for nine years now.Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was asked to name his Opening Day starter on Tuesday.“Clayton Kershaw,” Roberts said. “Does that surprise you?”It shouldn’t surprise anyone. The starting assignment on March 28 at Dodger Stadium against the Arizona Diamondbacks will be Kershaw’s ninth consecutive Opening Day start, extending his franchise record. “It’s good for Manny. It’s good for the Padres,” Roberts said. “So we’re going to see a lot more of Manny this year.”That Machado and Bryce Harper were both unsigned so deep into February had many bemoaning the state of the free-agent market. Many players went on record with their feeling that changes were needed in the system when talented free agents were not getting paid.Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said he always felt that narrative was “overstated.”“Internally, we expected him to get arguably the highest free-agent contract ever. I guess free agent-wise it’s A-Rod’s $252 million and he beat it and it’s fitting for a guy with his talent,” Friedman said.“I do think there’s some challenges that we need to work out as an industry. But there was a lot of noise and chatter trying to incite things with things like saying there are 100 free agents (unsigned). There aren’t 100 major-league free agents. Saying guys were getting frozen out – clearly, that’s not the case. The rhythm of a negotiation can play out in different ways. Obviously, this one took a little longer. But ultimately he got a very strong contract – as he should.”2B OR NOT 2BDuring Tuesday’s first full-squad workout, Max Muncy did some work at second base with Kiké Hernandez and Chris Taylor. Roberts said Muncy would continue to work there some during the spring and also get some action at second base during spring games.Related Articles Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco last_img read more

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