Going into the clubhouse and asking a manager who just lost the World Series if he is coming back next year is kinda like asking the widow at a funeral if she plans on remarrying. So it was understandable that Jim Leyland was not ready to talk about that stuff on Sunday night. Give it a day, though:
The decision has been made.
Indications are that Jim Leyland is coming back for an eighth year of managing the Tigers and that the club could make the announcement as early as today.
That’s Tom Gage of the Detroit News with the story. UPDATE: It’s official.
It makes sense. This will be a substantially similar team coming back next season and there is no better person than Leyland to manage it.
Leyland has bee at the helm for seven years. He’s 607-528 with two pennants and two division titles under his belt with the Tigers. You have to figure he’ll have this job as long as the Cabrera-Verlander-Fielder core is in tact and competitive.
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.