A few days ago, the Dodgers shut down ace Clayton Kershaw with what manager Dave Roberts termed an “arm kind of thing.” Kershaw had two lackluster bullpen sessions, so the Dodgers shut him down for a bit.
Kershaw played catch today, Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times reports. According to Roberts, Kershaw “didn’t feel great.” Roberts added, “Might be a day or two before he picks it up again.” The club currently has no plans to have Kershaw undergo an MRI.
Kershaw, 30, has had trouble staying healthy in recent years, last surpassing 27 starts in a season back in 2015. He’s dealt mostly with back issues, but given his age, career workload, and recent spate of injury problems, arm issues don’t come as much of a surprise.
The Dodgers added A.J. Pollock and Russell Martin during the offseason while leaving the rotation virtually unchanged. In the event Kershaw isn’t ready to start the regular season, the Dodgers will be relying on Walker Buehler, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Rich Hill, Kenta Maeda, Julio Urías, and Ross Stripling — not exactly a crew known for durability.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.
Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.
Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.
The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.