It’s been a rough couple months for Jordan Walden.
The 24-year-old right-hander opened the season as the Angels’ unchallenged closer after saving 32 games alongside a 2.98 ERA in 2011, but that role was eventually transferred to newcomer Ernesto Frieri, who’s been dominant. And now Walden is on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right bicep, according to MLB.com beat writer Alden Gonzalez.
Kyle Calhoun was recalled to fill the roster vacancy.
Walden has a 3.86 ERA and 1.57 WHIP through 28 innings this season. He’s fanned a whopping 35 batters but also issued 18 walks. The Angels’ medical team can’t say for certain how long he will be on the shelf.
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.