Last week Sandy Koufax checked into Mets camp, helping out Oliver Perez. This week he’s in Arizona with the Dodgers:
Torre said Koufax is in Arizona to visit family, but he’s expected to
soon appear at Camelback Ranch-Glendale, as he did last year, and no
doubt will watch Kershaw at work, as he did two years ago at Dodgertown.
“It was pretty awesome,” said Kershaw. “We talked for an hour and it
was unbelievable. I learned more on one plane trip than I have in a
long time. Honeycutt is great with the mechanics, but at the same time,
this is one of the best ever. It’s pretty cool.
Maybe he went to Mets’ camp because of the Wilpon’s well-known fixation on the Dodgers, and he’s probably going to Camelback because he, you know, played a little bit for the Dodgers. I’d like to think, however, that Koufax just roams the Earth, helping southpaws whenever he may find them. Like a pitching High Plains Drifter or something.
Either that or he was really working deep cover for the Dodgers last week and intentionally messed up the Mets’ pitchers. Which would be fine too.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.