Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2021
During his thirteen-year Dodger career, Clayton Kershaw has been a fan favorite. Lately, he has been fragile. The Dodgers should not re-sign Kershaw with his diminishing pitching skills and continual arm problems.
Since Kershaw was a rookie in 2008, baseball-knowledgeable people marveled at the young lefthander’s repertoire of a 95-mile-per-hour fastball and a large rainbow curveball. In 2010, during a bullpen session after a miserable outing, Kershaw discovered his slider. His devastating slider enabled Kershaw to win three National League Cy Young Awards in 2011, 2013, and 2014 and the National League MVP in 2014.
Since then, his back and arm injuries have decreased Kershaw’s effectiveness and ability to make starts. Before the 2020 spring training, he went to Driveline to get ideas to increase his velocity. It helped Kershaw during the abbreviated 2020 season even though he missed time with sore back. Without his contributions, the Dodgers might not have won the 2020 World Series.
In April, Kershaw performed as if he was 25 again when he had a 2.09 ERA, but he had a bad May with a 4.83 ERA. However, he rebounded in June with a 3.09 ERA.
While working out in the weight room, Kershaw injured his left forearm. He tried to rush back, and he suffered a setback preventing him from pitching until September. For the first two starts in September, Kershaw looked like himself, but he looked awful in his last two start.
On the last Friday of the regular season., Kershaw reinjured his left forearm, and he could not pitch in the playoffs. Although he did not need Tommy John surgery, his forearm injury could be chronic. I would love to see Kershaw to finish his Major-League career with the Dodgers, but it doesn’t make sense for the Dodgers to retain the services of the future Hall of Famer.