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Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw Looks Sharp in Cactus League Debut

Clayton Kershaw made his Cactus League debut for the Dodgers on Friday afternoon against the Brewers. While it’s still early and you cannot take too much out of a small sample size, Kershaw looked exceptionally sharp.

The two walks and 37 pitches in the second inning obviously jump out as negative, but he looked to be trying to mix in pitches. After all, that’s what Spring Training is for. Kershaw’s slider bit hard, and his curveball proved to be exceptionally effective in the outing. Ryan Moseley came on in relief for the Dodgers with runners on.

More importantly, Kershaw’s fastball had some surprising zip on it. It’s only the first outing of the season, and he was sitting between 91-93 mph. Kershaw’s average fastball velocity was the lowest of his career in 2019 at just 90.3 mph. That qualified him for the 15th percentile in the league.

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After the outing, the lefty spoke with Dave Vassegh of AM570 about the results.

It felt great. It was awesome. I might not have hit one spot today, but physically, I felt like the ball was coming out well, it was breaking the right way, and now it’s just figure out how to throw strikes. Throwing four-seamers, you want the ball to have life up in the zone, and I feel like maybe even compared to last year, it’s a little better.

It appears that the time spent at Driveline in the offseason helped Kershaw after all. He was one of several Dodgers pitchers that spent time at the popular pitching workout center. If Los Angeles is going to compete for a World Series this year, Kershaw’s success is going to be vital. 

In 2019, Kershaw had the worst year of his career. But by most other pitcher’s standards, it was actually a fairly decent year. He pitched to a 3.03 earned run average and allowed a career-worst 28 home runs. 

NEXT: Kiké Hernández Makes Adjustment To Swing, And It’s Paying Off


  1. Clayton was fine but Alex Wood stunk. His proclamation of assured starting aside, he better pick it or Gonsolin – who has looked terrific – is going to snatch the 5th spot from him.

  2. Been saying for last few months,I expected Kershaw to to get a few miles on his fastball cause it’s 2 seasons with no back problem and I said he would win another Cy Young award and 20 or more games.His fastball was up to 93 and hopefull it can get to 94,last time his fastball hit 94 his era was real low below 2.00.I also said he would still be the ace with Julio having a good year to be number two even if his innings are limited to 175.Management s]aid he”s off the that innings limit.Dodgers starters will prove they don’t need anybody especially an over the hill price.Dodgers will have 3 aces and soon May will be number 4.Go Blue

  3. A 3.03 ERA is better than “fairly decent”. It ranked 10th in the MLB. Figure 4 or 5 starters per team and 30 teams, and that puts him in the mid 90’s percentile for ERA. In other words, most pitchers would kill to have an ERA of 3.03. For Kershaw it was an off year, since it was the first time since his rookie year in 2008 that his ERA was above 3.00. With increased velocity, and hopefully a changeup, or at least more curves, he should be back in the familiar sub 3.00 ERA territory this year. At this point I’d rather see him come up big in the postseason than win another Cy Young, but both would be nice.

  4. Didn’t look to good to me. Wild and nothing on his pitches that a big league player would miss. Early but did not look
    Like he is ready.

  5. Whatever the case may be, I would still prefer a 2nd RHP in the rotation to break up the consecutive LHP as it now stands. But with more starting options anyway the rotation figures to be somewhat different later in the year. wss.

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