Octavio Dotel, who missed all of this season with elbow problems, has decided to retire rather than try another comeback at age 40, according to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish.
Dotel had a remarkable career, pitching 15 seasons for 13 different teams despite not debuting until age 25, not finding his full-time home in the bullpen until age 27, and often dealing with arm troubles.
Armed with a good fastball and sharp-breaking slider, Dotel went from struggling as a starter to making 724 relief appearances with a 3.32 ERA and .207 opponents’ batting average while racking up 955 strikeouts in 760 innings.
His career strikeout rate of 10.8 per nine innings is the best in the history of baseball for right-handed pitchers with at least 900 innings. Directly behind him on the list are Kerry Wood and Pedro Martinez.
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.