After Martin Perez suffered a forearm fracture when he was hit by a comebacker on Sunday, there was immediate speculation that the Rangers could make a play for free agent right-hander Kyle Lohse. But it’s not going to happen.
T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com was given this firm denial from a Rangers’ source today:
“We are not going to sign Kyle Lohse. I can’t be clearer than that.”
Lohse had a 2.86 ERA in 33 starts with the Cardinals last season, but he has failed to garner much interest this winter because he is tied to draft pick compensation. Still, that hasn’t stopped his agent, Scott Boras, from trying to land a three-year deal and a “big” annual salary.
As for now, Robbie Ross appears to the the favorite for the fifth spot in the Rangers’ rotation. The 23-year-old left-hander allowed one run over four innings this afternoon against the Cubs and has a 3.00 ERA over nine innings of work this spring.
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.