Every year, the MLB Players Alumni Association announces a winner for its annual Heart and Hustle Award. The award is given to the player who “best embodies the values, spirits and traditions of baseball.” The winner of the 2018 award is Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts.
Betts is the first member of the Red Sox to win the Heart and Hustle award since Dustin Pedroia in 2013. The winners since the award’s inception in 2005:
- 2005: SS David Eckstein, Cardinals
- 2006: 2B Craig Biggio, Astros
- 2007: 2B Craig Biggio, Astros
- 2008: OF Grady Sizemore, Indians
- 2009: 1B Albert Pujols, Cardinals
- 2010: SP Roy Halladay, Phillies
- 2011: OF Torii Hunter, Angels
- 2012: OF Mike Trout, Angels
- 2013: 2B Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox
- 2014: UT Josh Harrison, Pirates
- 2015: 1B Anthony Rizzo, Cubs
- 2016: 3B Todd Frazier, White Sox
- 2017: OF Brett Gardner, Yankees
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.