Here’s an interesting note from the Associated Press concerning the recent offensive struggles of Indians right fielder Shin-Soo Choo:
Choo believes he is thinking too much and trying too hard to make a good impression since he was charged with drunken driving.
The note is not accompanied by any kind of quote from Choo, so we’ll just have to assume that the Korean-born outfielder has indeed expressed that DUI-related frustration to reporters. The numbers certainly add up.
Choo was arrested on May 2 for driving under the influence of alcohol outside downtown Cleveland. He blew a .201 blood-alcohol level in a state where the legal blood-alcohol limit is .08. Since that arrest, the 28-year-old outfielder has hit just .233/.316/.320 with one home run and seven RBI in 27 games. He has struck out 30 times and drawn just 10 walks in that span. This from a guy who still owns a superb .857 career OPS.
Choo is batting sixth in the Indians’ lineup Sunday for the first time this season. He normally bats third.
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.