AP Photo/Matt York

Scott Kazmir is suffering from diminished velocity

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It’s early, but Dodgers starter Scott Kazmir hasn’t looked great in his first two starts of the spring. The lefty has yielded seven runs on 12 hits and two walks with three strikeouts over 3 2/3 innings of work. Even worse, his fastball has been sitting in the 86-89 MPH range, per Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. As Shaikin notes, the last time Kazmir threw his fastball so slow, the Angels cut him from the roster.

Neither Kazmir nor the Dodgers seem to be worried. Kazmir said, “My arm feels great.” He added that if he tries to throw too hard too early, his wind-up gets out of sorts.

The Dodgers are suffering from quite a few question marks in the starting rotation behind Clayton Kershaw. Brett Anderson is expected to miss 3-5 months after undergoing back surgery. Hyun-Jin Ryu, recovering from left shoulder surgery, could return some time in May. Frankie Montas had a rib removed in February and will miss most of the first half. Brandon McCarthy is recovering from Tommy John surgery and won’t even throw to hitters until May. Alex Wood was scratched from his last start due to forearm tightness.

It’s safe to say that Kazmir figuring things out sooner rather than later is pretty important for the Dodgers at the midpoint of spring training.

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.