Angels right-hander Jered Weaver has been out since July 20 with left hip inflammation, but Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com reports that the Angels have cleared to make a minor league rehab start Thursday with Class A Inland Empire.
Weaver is back to full health, but Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register writes that he has been “trying to get his mechanics, timing and velocity back to the point that he can be successful.” The 32-year-old had a 4.75 ERA over 15 starts prior to going on the disabled list while striking out only 49 batters in 96 2/3 innings and allowing 16 home runs. His average fastball velocity has checked in at just 83.9 mph (according to FanGraphs).
Andrew Heaney has been great during Weaver’s absence, posting a 1.79 ERA over six starts, and will likely push Matt Shoemaker to the bullpen.
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.