Jimmy Rollins, differentiating Michael Young from all of those hitters in the majors who have chosen to forego pay and keep their amateur status:
Q: What do you think of the additions the club made?
A: Michael Young is a professional hitter. He’s been to two World Series.
That comes from a Q&A between Rollins and CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury. Who gamely attempts to get Rollins to say something provocative as he has often done at the beginning of the season, but this year the best he can do is to decline to say that the Nationals are the team to beat in the NL East. Which, no, isn’t exactly bulletin board material.
But I do love the “professional hitter” line. I bet it’s been applied to Young more in the past year than to any other player in baseball by a factor of five.
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.