Dodgers Team News

Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw Praises Manny Machado Ahead of Series with Padres

Late in the regular season, the Dodgers were in San Diego for one last series with the Padres. Los Angeles won two of the three games, with the only blemish a 10-inning loss that finally cost Craig Kimbrel his job as closer.

While in San Diego, Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw sat down with San Diego reporter Marty Caswell to talk about a variety of Dodgers/Padres topics. One of those topics was Manny Machado, who was Kershaw’s teammate for three months in 2018 before signing a huge free-agent contract with the Padres.

Kershaw’s praise of Machado was glowing.

“I’ve always had a big respect for Manny, when he played with us, and now coming over here playing against him all the time, he’s just a great player. And you can kind of build around him, because you know he’s going to post every day — he’s a lot like Freddie [Freeman] for us, he’s just going to post every day, go out there, play great defense, get big hits… I think he’s just a great player. I think he can roll out of bed and hit .300 and play Gold Glove defense… I don’t know much about their clubhouse but it does feel like he kind of maybe has a little bit more of a leadership role maybe, and it kind of runs through him a little bit I feel like, it just seems that way from the other side at least.”

Of course, Kershaw isn’t going to talk trash on Machado to a San Diego reporter. But he’s clearly being honest about Manny here, and he’s right. Machado has been pretty consistent throughout his career, with even his “down” years having an OPS+ around 110. According to Baseball-Reference, Machado is at 52.0 WAR through 11 seasons, which puts him one or two good seasons away from the Hall of Fame. He just turned 30 a couple months ago, and he has six seasons left on his 10-year contract with San Diego.

If the Padres are going to make noise in this postseason, they will likely need Machado to step up and be one of the loudest noisemakers. The Dodgers and Padres have had some interesting encounters over the last few years, and the NLDS could be the next great chapter in that book.

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Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. During his previous career as an executive at a technology company, he began writing about baseball in his spare time. After leaving corporate America in 2014, he started doing it professionally. Jeff wrote and edited for Baseball Essential for years before joining Dodgers Nation. He's also the co-host of the Locked On Dodgers podcast, a daily podcast that brings the smart fan's perspective on our Boys in Blue. Jeff has a degree in English from Brigham Young University. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw's homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.

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