The Braves 2019 rotation is probably the biggest x-factor on the team. There is a lot of young talent present and lot of younger talent in the minors which could soon contribute, but depth and experience is a problem. It’s the sort of rotation that, on paper, if everything breaks right, could be good, but if things go wrong or if the young arms don’t develop quickly enough, could be a source of trouble for a contending team.
Speaking of things going wrong, there’s news about number one starter Mike Foltynewicz, number three starter Kevin Gausman and Luiz Gohara who, while not currently on the rotation per the depth chart, is expected to play a big role with the Braves this season:
On top of that, as we noted last week, young starter Mike Soroka, also expected to be a big contributor in 2019, has been shut down with a recurrence of shoulder problems.
The Braves, we are told, have a lot of “financial flexibility.” Someone should probably go and check if that financial flexibility can throw a breaking ball.
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.