Phillies, Dodgers announce Chase Utley trade

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Word had already come down before Wednesday’s game between the Phillies and Blue Jays that Chase Utley was being traded to the Dodgers, but Utley elected to hang around with his Phillies teammates for the night. Now, after a 7-4 win in which Utley did not appear, the full details of the trade are out …

Los Angeles will cover around $2 million of the $6 million Utley was still owed by the Phillies. The 36-year-old can handle second base until Howie Kendrick returns from a hamstring injury and then operate as a veteran bench bat for the stretch run. Utley has slashed just .217/.284/.333 in 73 total games this season, but he’s been showing strong signs of life since returning 11 days ago from an ankle injury.

Darnell Sweeney, a 13th-round pick in 2012, is hitting .271/.332/.409 in 116 games this year at the Triple-A level. He is 24 years old. John Richy, a third-round pick in 2013, has a 4.20 ERA over 124 1/3 innings this season in High-A ball. He just turned 23. These aren’t really intriguing prospects.

Read more on Utley’s lasting legacy in Philadelphia at CSNPhilly.com.

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.