Good news for the defending American League champion Royals (it’s so much fun to say that), as Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star reports that outfielder Alex Gordon took live batting practice today for the first time since right wrist surgery in January.
Gordon said he felt no discomfort in his wrist, even on a check swing, which is an encouraging sign. He’s expected to play in minor league intrasquad games on Tuesday and Wednesday before potentially making his Cactus League debut. There’s still plenty of time for him to get at-bats before Opening Day.
Gordon, 31, batted .266/.351/.432 with 19 home runs and 74 RBI across 156 games last season and took home his fourth straight Gold Glove Award. This is a big season for him, as his contract with the Royals includes a $12.5 million player option for 2016. He could decline the option and land a lucrative multi-year contract on the open market.
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.