Left-hander Aaron Loup has been shut down in Blue Jays camp for at least two weeks after an MRI exam showed a flexor strain in his elbow and it sounds like the team is not expecting him to be ready for Opening Day.
When asked about Loup’s odds of beginning the season on the active roster manager John Gibbons told reporters “that would be real tough.” All of which certainly suggests two weeks is a minimum absence rather than a return timetable.
Loup has been a key part of Toronto’s bullpen for the past four seasons, throwing 211 innings with a 3.11 ERA and 176/52 K/BB ratio while shutting down left-handed hitters.
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.