Mets sign Kiko Calero to minor-league deal

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Despite varying reports about his health status Kelvim Escobar seems likely to begin the season on the disabled list, so the Mets have smartly added another right-handed reliever by signing Kiko Calero to a minor-league contract.
Calero is 35 years old and also has a lengthy history of arm injuries, but the fact that he managed only a minor-league deal after posting a 1.95 ERA with 69 strikeouts and a .180 opponents’ batting average in 60 innings last season is pretty amazing.
He’s a big risk because that modest workload actually represented a career-high for Calero and he logged a grand total of just 4.2 innings in 2008, but when healthy he’s consistently been a quality setup man. Calero typically works in the high-80s with his fastball, but his low-80s slider is among the best in baseball and he’s racked up 324 strikeouts in 302.2 career innings along with a 3.24 ERA.
Given their recent track record with keeping players healthy Calero may give the Mets’ training staff a lot of trouble, but he’s an excellent low-cost pickup with a chance to make a big impact in a late-inning role.

Clayton Kershaw completes spring training with a 0.00 ERA

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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.