As a young pitcher in the major leagues, having wise veterans as mentors is crucial to developing into a consistent starter or reliable reliever. For any young Dodgers pitcher, having Clayton Kershaw as a leader is a home run.
Even as Kershaw has dealt with injuries this season, he has been vital in encouraging the young pitchers who have stepped up as the Dodgers have suffered from a variety of challenges to their starting rotation.
“It’s important because of what he means to our team. And what he’s done,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “So it’s important to have him on the roster and pitch. It makes everybody better given the youth of our pitching staff or not, it’s still just important to have Clayton. I still believe in the talent that we have, but Clayton he just does so many things for our pitching staff.”(Via SportsNet LA)
Many of the young pitchers on the Dodgers’ staff grew up watching Kershaw pitch and now have a chance to work alongside a living legend.
“For me, what I see how we goes about his day-to-day, our young guys are watching everything he does. And it doesn’t always have to be conversations that he’s having with them. He’s a leader by example. So I think that these guys are always take something from what Clayton has done and how he goes about things.”(Via SportsNet LA)
Clearly, Kershaw’s influence has been invaluable. The Dodgers could enter the postseason with three rookies playing a crucial part on their playoff roster.
Starting pitcher Bobby Miller has impressed in his first season in the majors, holding a 3.97 ERA with a 3.4 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Miller has a 10-4 record and has become a reliable starter for the Dodgers, one who could play a key role in the Dodgers’ quest for another World Series title.
Michael Grove, who would likely come out of the bullpen as a reliever with the ability to pitch multiple innings, has a wide range of pitchers that could make him a dangerous weapon come October. Roberts has said that Grove, who has shown some warning signs this season with several 7+ hit performances, will have a chance to prove he’s ready for the postseason.
Emmet Sheehan, who is also trained as a starting pitcher, could be valuable for his ability to cover multiple innings and effective pitch against right-handed and left-handed pitchers.
With every out that the young pitching staff of the Dodgers secures, Clayton Kershaw’s influence can be felt on an LA team ready for their shot at a World Series title.
Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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