The Brewers announced that the club and catcher Erik Kratz have agreed to a one-year contract, avoiding arbitration. Kratz was eligible for arbitration in his third of four years. He’ll earn $300,000 guaranteed and $1.2 million in total if he stays in the majors, per Jon Heyman of Fancred.
Kratz, 38, was lackluster with the bat during the regular season, batting .236/.280/.355 in 219 plate appearances. However, he played solid enough defense and handled the pitching staff well. During the playoffs, Kratz had two hits and two RBI in Game 2 of the NLDS against the Rockies and three hits in Game 3, helping the Brewers advance to the NLCS. Understandably, the Brewers wanted him back.
Kratz is still behind Manny Piña on the Brewers’ depth chart, but he could be in line for a bit more playing time in 2019.
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.