As the offseason gets started for the Dodgers much earlier than expected, one of the biggest parts will be what veteran Clayton Kershaw decides to do. He has mulled retirement the last few offseasons and has signed one-year deals to preserve his own flexibility.
“He is considering undergoing an additional examination on his left shoulder, which he injured in late June. The shoulder condition, which Kershaw has declined to specify, led to reduced fastball velocity and diminished command in the final months of the season.”Per Any McCullough of The Athletic
If Kershaw needs to have surgery to repair his shoulder, it could sway him toward retirement. He likely doesn’t want to deal with rehabbing over the winter, so this could play a massive role in things.
When he was healthy, Kershaw was one of the more dominant pitchers in baseball this season. He finished the 2023 campaign with an ERA of 2.46 and was one of the more consistent pitchers for LA during their struggles.
His performance in the playoffs was obviously a major problem, and it set the tone for the entire series. But that wasn’t who he was for the majority of the season, and his competitive drive could see him return for one final year.
Kershaw has accomplished so much in this league, and he probably wants to spend time with his family more going forward. But he knows that he can be better than what he showed in the postseason.
“Obviously, a horrible way to end it, personally,” Kershaw said. “But that’s ultimately not important. It’s just how I didn’t help the team win the series. That’s the most disappointing part, letting your guys down. Process it however best you can — I don’t even know what that means, really.”Per Clayton Kershaw via The Athletic
He feels that he let the team down in the postseason, and that is the worst thing for him. Kershaw wants to take his time in his decision but knows that he also really needs to consider all factors.
The hope is that Kershaw can get himself healthy this winter, and return next season. He deserves a chance to go out on a high note, and Dodger fans would love to give him a proper sendoff next year.
Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
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