Friday, February 28, 2020
Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2020
Friday Clayton Kershaw made his Cactus League debut against the Milwaukee Brewers. Although the Dodgers have not announced their Opening Day starter yet, Kershaw lines up perfectly to face the San Francisco Giants on March 26, Opening Day at Dodger Stadium.
Kershaw looked amazing though he had control problems at the end of the outing. The original plan was to have Kershaw to pitch two innings, but issuing two consecutive walks limited him to 1.2 innings. However, his curveball had a sharp break, and his velocity was from 91 to 93 miles-per-hour. Having control problems is expected in a pitcher’s first game of the spring.
Although most people would agree Walker Buehler has surpassed Kershaw as the ace of the Dodger starting rotation, every opposition wants to beat the future Hall of Famer. Since 2009, Kershaw has been a vital member of the rotation.
For the first time in several years, Kershaw enters spring training. Back and shoulder issues have plagued him since 2014. These physical issues have decreased his velocity and cut the break on both his curveball and slider. With most pitches at the same velocity and not much movement, Kershaw was prone to the extra-base hits.
If David Price is healthy and Urias is effective this upcoming season, the pressure on Kershaw will be less than in previous years. Almost at 32, he is still dominating and better than most Major-League starters. Nevertheless, he will not recapture what he had from 2011 to 2014. If Kershaw remains healthy, he will top many Dodger pitching accomplishments, ousting Hall of Farmers Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, and Don Sutton.
Over his 12-year career with the Dodgers, Kershaw’s charitable efforts have benefited the Los Angeles community, the Dallas community, and orphans in Africa. He has been the face of the Dodger organization since 2009. Although some Dodger fans criticize his perceived failures during the postseasons, they like to forget the Dodgers probably would not have gone to the postseasons for seven consecutive years without his contributions.