Victor Martinez could catch early in the season

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Victor Martinez has caught five games over the past two seasons. He’s really a DH these days who can spot at first base. But if Miguel Cabrera is healthy enough to go by the second week of the season — a big if — V-Mart could catch. From the Free Press:

The Tigers play their annual interleague rivalry with the Pirates on April 13-15 in Pittsburgh, meaning that National League rules will eliminate the designated hitter.

“If Miggy’s available, then Victor would be an option at catcher,” manager Brad Ausmus said this week.

If he’s not, then Martinez would be the first baseman.

 

Too bad that series comes so early. If usual form holds, Alex Avila will be about 96% beaten to dust by August and could use the break then.

Clayton Kershaw to make Opening Day start for Dodgers

Clayton Kershaw Opening Day
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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.