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Diamondbacks, Torey Lovullo agree to contract extension

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The Diamondbacks announced on Tuesday that the club and manager Torey Lovullo have agreed on a contract extension. Lovullo was entering the last year of a three-year contract. Per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, the extension tacks on two years to the end of his current contract, so he’ll be with the D-Backs ostensibly through the 2021 season.

Lovullo, 53, has enjoyed success with the Diamondbacks since taking over in 2017. In his first season, he won NL Manager of the Year, leading the D-Backs to a 93-69 record. His team won its NL Wild Card game against the Rockies before being swept out of the NLDS by the Dodgers. In 2018, the D-Backs took a step back, finishing 82-80, but the club dealt with a plethora of injuries.

It will be interesting to see how Lovullo’s D-Backs fare in 2019 as Paul Goldschmidt was traded, while Patrick Corbin and A.J. Pollock left in free agency. The front office has insisted the club is not entering a rebuilding mode.

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.