Matt Kemp is set to undergo shoulder surgery tomorrow, but his teammate Clayton Kershaw will have a normal offseason.
According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti confirmed this afternoon that Kershaw will not require surgery on his right hip.
Surgery was mentioned as a possibility after Kershaw was scratched from consecutive starts due to a hip impingement. If surgery was deemed necessary, he could have been at risk for missing the first month of the 2013 season. But it looks like the Dodgers caught a break.
Kershaw, 24, led the National League with a 2.53 ERA and 1.02 WHIP this season and finished second behind R.A. Dickey with 229 strikeouts in 227 2/3 innings. Dickey appears to have the momentum for the National League Cy Young Award, but you can’t say Kershaw didn’t put together a solid case for a repeat.
Pablo Sandoval could be tabbed to play second base in the near future, per a report from John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. According to Shea, Sandoval has been spotted taking grounders at second during pre-game warm-ups and may be considering switching to the keystone on a part-time basis.
It wouldn’t be the weirdest thing the 31-year-old corner infielder has done this year — that distinction goes to the flawless inning of relief he pitched in a blowout loss against the Dodgers last month. But it would represent a pretty notable departure from his comfort zone even so; Sandoval has primarily manned first and third base throughout his 11-year career in the majors and has also taken a few reps at DH during his resurgence with the Giants in 2018.
Of course, this wouldn’t necessarily be a permanent switch for Sandoval. As Shea points out, the Giants are thin on middle infielders after losing Joe Panik to a torn UCL in his left thumb and backup Alen Hanson to a left hamstring strain. Provided he can get up to speed quickly (no easy feat, according to infield coach Ron Wotus), he’d give the club some added depth behind Kelby Tomlinson and Miguel Gomez until Panik is ready to take the field again. Sandoval has impressed at the plate this spring, batting a healthy .270/.329/.429 with six extra-base hits and a .757 through 70 plate appearances.