Pirates prospect Andrew Lambo leads the minor leagues in homers with 31, going deep 14 times in 58 games at Double-A and 17 times in 59 games at Triple-A. And now the 24-year-old outfielder is headed to the majors for the first time.
Pittsburgh has called up Lambo, who hit .284 with a .926 OPS in 117 total games this season. He was originally acquired from the Dodgers in the mid-2010 trade for Octavio Dotel and missed most of last season with a shoulder injury.
Obviously the power potential gives Lambo a chance to make a significant impact down the stretch, but he also struck out 123 times in 491 plate appearances and had relatively modest career numbers before this year’s breakout. He has experience in both corner outfield spots as well as first base, so Pirates manager Clint Hurdle could mix and match his lineup choices.
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.