Report: Rick Renteria has emerged as a “clear cut favorite” for Cubs manager


It was reported earlier today that the Cubs still had Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo on their radar for manager, but it appears that one candidate is the early frontrunner for the gig.

Renteria has been on the Padres’ staff since 2008, originally as a first base coach and as the bench coach for the past three seasons. While he doesn’t have major league managerial experience, Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago notes that the Cubs are high on him in part because of his ability to work well with Latin-American players.

The Cubs have also interviewed former Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch, former Indians and Nationals manager Manny Acta, and Rays bench coach Dave Martinez. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal confirms that the Cubs like Lovullo, but adds that they may not wait to give him an interview, as they could settle on a manager before the Red Sox are done with the playoffs.

Clayton Kershaw completes spring training with a 0.00 ERA

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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.