Gary Sheffield has a nephew, Jordan Sheffield, who’s a high school pitcher in Tennessee and top-50 draft prospect. Or at least he was.
Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com reports that Sheffield needs Tommy John elbow surgery that will end his high school career and may cause him to play college ball at Vanderbilt rather than potentially falling way down in the draft.
Of course, going to school at Vanderbilt for a few years isn’t such a bad thing and Mayo notes that some teams considered Sheffield a “tough sign” even before the injury because they expected him to go to college.
Last year the Nationals took Lucas Giolito with the No. 16 pick even though he was sidelined by an elbow injury at the time and he later needed Tommy John surgery.
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.