Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw has had a weird spring this year, and while weird springs aren’t new to the superstar lefty, this year has been weird in a new way. Kersh was originally scheduled to be on Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, so he spent the offseason preparing as if he’d miss a couple weeks in training camp.
The result was Kershaw showing up to LA’s spring camp at Camelback Ranch closer to game-ready than he usually does. So when an insurance issue forced the future Hall of Famer off the WBC roster, Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts was faced with a new challenge: how to take his foot off the gas pedal with Kershaw’s preparation to have him ready by Opening Day on March 30 instead of, like, March 15.
Roberts gave an update on the superstar lefty this weekend, and it sounds like their plan is working. Kershaw threw a bullpen session on Saturday, and Roberts came away pleased.
“He said he felt good and it was really, really good pen. I think right now he’s gonna be on his five-day routine. As far as, you know, ‘pens and sides and throwing and so it’s really good.”
With Kershaw now onto his regular routine, Roberts thinks he’s on track for Opening Day.
“I think he’s right where he needs to be. I think as far as the prep, mentally, physically, we took a few days to kind of reset, so I think he’s right where he we would we’d have hoped.”
What that likely means is that we’ll see Kershaw in a spring game relatively soon. We’re currently 33 days away from Opening Day, and with games nearly every day in the spring, we can sort of work backwards. Five days before Opening Day would have Kersh pitching on March 25 against Kansas City, etc. That means if he made his first spring appearances on March 5, he’d get five spring starts in. If they want him to get six starts, they’d be looking at starting him tomorrow against the Reds. Of course, if he’s not going to be the Opening Day starter, they could bump everything back by a day or two, although a two-day bump would cause them to run into the March 7 off-day as a complicating factor.
One way or another, though, we should see Kershaw in game action soon as he prepares for his 16th season in Dodger blue.
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