Slate’s Josh Levin has surveyed the experts, and it’s pretty clear: if you want to really know what you’ve got in a young prospect, you gotta inspect his butt. The scouts’ consensus: if you have a flat butt, you’re just not gonna make it in this game because it means that you’ll never fill out and get strong like a big leaguer needs to do.
As the blog Nerd Baseball notes, former Yankees, Dbacks and Rangers manager Buck Showalter may be on the bleeding edge of butt-scouting. “You don’t see a lot of good power hitters or good pitchers that
generate arm speed that don’t have a good, high butt on them,” Showalter said. And he thinks Derek Lee is close to the ideal. “I don’t want to say he’s got a perfect butt, but when I look at it I
say, Wow.” As do we all, Buck. As do we all.
And not that you asked, but I’ve got a really flat butt. Going forward, I’m going to assume that it — and not my lack of hand-eye coordination, speed, instincts, and upper body strength — is the reason why I never made it past the Babe Ruth league.
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.