Bud Selig has said that he wants to avoid having the playoffs stretch into November and because of that Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that MLB plans to start next season on Friday, April 1 rather the traditional Monday Opening Day.
Here’s more from Nightengale:
It would be the first time a majority of teams start the season on a Friday since 1905, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The regular season would end Wednesday, Sept. 28 with playoffs opening on Sept. 30 or Oct. 1. The World Series is scheduled to start Wednesday, Oct. 19, a week earlier than the last two years. It would virtually assure the World Series would not be played in November.
According to Selig “anything we could do to finish in October is what I wanted to do” and players association executive director Michael Weiner is on board with the decision.
Last season the World Series concluded with Game 6 on November 4 and Game 7 of this year’s World Series is scheduled for the same date.
Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.
Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.
Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.