Find your nearest fainting couch. Per MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has selected Clayton Kershaw to start on Opening Day for the Dodgers. Take a minute to take that in and express your surprise as needed. “Cat’s out of the bag,” Roberts said. Opening Day for the Dodgers is on March 29 against the Giants in L.A.
Kershaw, 29, has started each of the Dodgers’ last seven Opening Days. In L.A. Dodgers history, only Don Drysdale and Don Sutton have matched the honor of starting Opening Day for the Dodgers at least seven times. Neither did it eight times.
Last season, Kershaw finished second in National League Cy Young Award balloting. He went 18-4 with a 2.31 ERA and a 202/30 K/BB ratio in 175 innings across 27 starts. The lefty missed some time between July 24 and the end of August with a back issue.
Update, 7:49 PM ET: The Nationals placed Howie Kendrick on the 10-day disabled list with a right Achilles injury. In a corresponding move, right-hander Jefry Rodriguez was recalled from Double-A Potomac.
Nationals left fielder Howie Kendrick was removed from the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Dodgers after injuring his right leg. In the eighth inning, Kendrick tracked a Max Muncy sac fly to the wall, but landed strangely on his right leg and fell to the ground. Unable to put weight on it, he was forced to exit the field on a cart and was sent to undergo an MRI soon afterward, the results of which have yet to be revealed.
While the Nationals have not specified the nature or severity of Kendrick’s injury, Martinez revealed that it’s located in the “lower part” of the outfielder’s leg and appears to be quite severe. He’ll likely be placed on the 10-day disabled list in the next couple of days, though the recovery process could take even longer.
Prior to the incident, Kendrick was off to a hot start this season. Entering Saturday’s doubleheader, he carried a batting line of .302/.331/.477 with 18 extra-base hits and an .808 OPS in 157 plate appearances. He went 1-for-3 on Saturday with a base hit in the seventh inning. Andrew Stevenson subbed in for Kendrick following the injury and has been tabbed to start in left field for the second game of the doubleheader at 8:05 PM ET.