Back in November general manager Ken Williams said he expected Jake Peavy to begin the season on the disabled list and there were some reports that he might not be ready to join the rotation until June, but Peavy has recovered from shoulder surgery more quickly than anticipated and has looked good enough in his first two spring outings that avoiding the DL may now be possible.
Yesterday he threw 3.2 innings against the Giants, which is the longest outing by a White Sox starter so far this spring, and afterward said:
It was certainly a lot of work to get ready, but my body did all we asked it to do. I wasn’t very sharp. I had pretty decent stuff. It was just a good step in the right direction, another hurdle to clear, and moving on toward our ultimate goal and that’s to break camp with the team.
Ozzie Guillen, while trying to remain somewhat cautious with Peavy’s outlook, couldn’t help calling it “a very exciting day” and “a great day for the White Sox.”
Peavy still has to avoid setbacks for the rest of the month and continue to build up arm strength while increasing his velocity, but he definitely has a chance to be in the Opening Day rotation when that looked like an impossibility just a couple months ago.
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.