Mark DeRosa is batting just .194 following offseason wrist surgery and hasn’t been himself since first suffering the injury in the middle of last season, hitting .224 with a .293 on-base percentage and .374 slugging percentage in 83 games.
DeRosa is scheduled to be examined by a wrist specialist today after expressing his frustration with the injury during a radio interview yesterday:
I’m starting to question some things. I’m gonna get my wrist looked at. I’m not happy with the way I’m swinging the bat. I’ve gotten some pitches to drive over the last week or two that I’m just not getting to. I’m starting to wonder if it’s something physical. I mean, a slump can only last for so long. It seems like ever since I hurt this thing it’s been downhill.
DeRosa is 35 years old, so an age-based decline in ability is also possible, but he hit .277 with a .361 on-base percentage and .477 slugging percentage in the 216 games before suffering the injury. San Francisco handed out matching two-year, $12 million contracts to DeRosa and Freddy Sanchez this offseason, and just 30 games later they’re almost surely regretting both deals.
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.