I have no words. Aaron’s analysis is here. Here are the winners:
C: Joe Mauer
1B: Mark Teixeira
2B: Robinson Cano
SS: Derek Freakin’ Jeter
OF: Ichiro Suzuki
OF: Carl Crawford
OF: Franklin Gutierrez
P: Mark Buehrle
I suppose good arguments can be made for and against most of those guys, but I don’t see how anyone can call Derek Jeter the best defensive shortstop in the American League. Even the heartiest Jeter backers have given up vouching his defense in recent years. This is an inertia award, voted on by people who care less about actually honoring good defense than in honoring tenure and popularity and, maybe, in defensively perpetuating the erroneous belief that we never grow old, our skills never erode and that we never will die.
The thinking: “Hey, if Derek Jeter is still pickin’ it like gold in his mid-to-late 30s, I must be in my salad days! [whistle whistle whistle . . .]”
We’ll have more analysis on this as the day goes on. I, for one, am going to get a stiff drink in the hopes of forgetting this ever happened.
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.