Time for another update on Buster Posey’s recovery from the broken leg that ended his sophomore season on May 25.
Chris Haft of MLB.com reports that Posey has now progressed to 30- and 60-yard sprints along with additional agility drills and “mild distance running.”
Posey has yet to go through live batting practice and isn’t yet cleared to run the bases, but Giants trainer Dave Groeschner said that the former Rookie of the Year will advance to baseball activities by early next month, adding: “For January 9 he’s doing pretty well.”
Barring any major setbacks Posey seems likely to be ready for Opening Day, but that’s certainly far from guaranteed. San Francisco re-signed Eli Whiteside to a minor-league contract and he’ll compete with Hector Sanchez and Chris Stewart to back up (and potentially fill in for) Posey.
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.