Dontrelle Willis struggled today in his second appearance of spring training, allowing four runs, and afterward told Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer: “I was horse[bleep].”
Willis also indicated that he was pitching through some arm fatigue–which isn’t a great sign so early in camp–and Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that he’ll be “checked out” by team doctors tomorrow for a “sore arm.”
Willis hasn’t been healthy and effective in the same season since 2006 and posted a 5.00 ERA with 37 walks in 76 innings for the Reds last season, yet got a one-year, $1 million contract from the Phillies to serve as their left-handed specialist.
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.