From MLB.com’s Joey Nowak comes word that Rangers catcher Mike Napoli had to be scratched from Saturday’s Cactus League game against the White Sox due to a “nagging left groin issue.”
Rangers trainers called the decision “precautionary,” and Rangers manager Ron Washington assured reporters in camp that “there’s no concern.”
Napoli is a little behind the other everyday players at the Rangers’ spring training complex due to a high ankle sprain that he suffered in Game 6 of the World Series. But he’s mostly recovered from that, and this groin thing represents only a minor setback. The 30-year-old slugger should be fine for Opening Day.
Napoli hit .320/.414/.631 with 30 home runs and 75 RBI in 432 plate appearances last season.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed it in March and he confirmed it again on Tuesday: Clayton Kershaw will start on Opening Day, Jorge Castillo of The Los Angeles Times reports.
The Dodgers are one of four teams that will open the 60-game regular season schedule on July 23; everyone else begins play on the 24th. With a 10 PM ET start, the Dodgers will host the Giants at Dodger Stadium.
Johnny Cueto will likely pitch opposite Kershaw for the Giants. Cueto was named the Giants’ Opening Day starter on March 11, before the league shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Manager Gabe Kapler hasn’t yet officially named an Opening Day starter for the makeshift season.
Kershaw, 32, made the Opening Day start eight consecutive times for the Dodgers from 2011-18. Hyun-Jin Ryu, now a Blue Jay, pitched on Opening Day last season for the Dodgers. Last year, Kershaw logged 178 1/3 innings over 28 starts and one relief appearance, his highest innings total since 2015. He went 16-5 with a 3.03 ERA, 189 strikeouts, and 41 walks.