From the “let’s remember that we hear all kinds of crazy things at the Winter Meetings and a lot of it is baloney” files, Ken Rosenthal says that the Phillies — the Phillies! — are among the many teams with an interest in trading for Gio Gonzalez.
Because obviously the Phillies (a) need the pitching; and (b) have tons of prospects to deal. Yup.
The apparent reasoning for the interest:
The addition of Gonzalez would give the Phils the depth to trade left-hander Cole Hamels — give them or a ready-made replacement if Hamels leaves as a free agent after next season.
Setting aside the fact that all of the six old dudes hanging around the media room right now think this is the best joke of the morning, the fact is that you can only push off your “we must have a second elite lefty starter in the fold but paying for his contract extension is gonna really hurt” problems off so far.
Find a way to lock up Hamels, Ruben. You’ll be happier you did.
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.