Jerry Hairston Jr. has apparently been playing through a hip injury for three months without telling anyone, but the Dodgers utility man finally had to shut things down and has been placed on the disabled list.
Hairston got off to a great start, hitting .366 with a .960 OPS through June 10, but since then–a span of slightly more than two months–he’s hit just .204 with a .556 OPS in 44 games.
At age 36 it’s very possible that Hairston simply stopped performing well, but as is so often the case there’s also a pretty good chance that playing through the injury for three months didn’t actually help the Dodgers all that much.
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.