The Red Sox were planning to have Steven Wright make a spot-start against the Yankees, but Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com reports that they have changed course and now plan to activate Joe Kelly from the disabled list to make the start.
Kelly came down with biceps tendinitis during a Grapefruit League start on March 16 and has been working his way back in recent days. Red Sox manager John Farrell told Tim Britton of the Providence Journal that they made the decision after watching his most recent bullpen session on Wednesday. He’ll likely be limited to around 85-90 pitches in his season debut.
Kelly was acquired from the Cardinals last July along with Allen Craig in the John Lackey deal. The 26-year-old throws hard and owns a 3.41 ERA over 48 starts and 30 relief appearances in the majors, but he has averaged just 6.0 K/9 and could be in trouble with a move to the American League.
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.