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Clayton Kershaw may not be ready for start of season

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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said on Monday that ace Clayton Kershaw may not have enough time to get ready for the start of the regular season, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports. Kershaw has been bothered by a left shoulder injury since spring training began in mid-February.

The last time a Dodger not named Kershaw got the Opening Day start was Vicente Padilla back in 2010. The regular season begins for the Dodgers on March 28 at home against the Diamondbacks. If Kershaw is inable to take the bump, Walker Buehler or Rich Hill will likely get the nod.

Kershaw, 30, has been bitten by the injury bug in each of the last three seasons. He last crossed the 30-start plateau in 2015. Last year, the lefty went 9-5 with a 2.73 ERA and a 155/29 K/BB ratio in 161 1/3 innings across 26 starts.

The Dodgers and Kershaw agreed to a three-year, $93 million contract extension back in November. While the club would love to have Kershaw start on Opening Day, there’s no reason to rush him before he’s actually ready.

Nationals’ major leaguers to continue offering financial assistance to minor leaguers

Sean Doolittle
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On Sunday, we learned that while the Nationals would continue to pay their minor leaguers throughout the month of June, their weekly stipend would be lowered by 25 percent, from $400 to $300. In an incredible act of solidarity, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his teammates put out a statement, saying they would be covering the missing $100 from the stipends.

After receiving some criticism, the Nationals reversed course, agreeing to pay their minor leaguers their full $400 weekly stipend.

Doolittle and co. have not withdrawn their generosity. On Wednesday, Doolittle released another statement, saying that he and his major league teammates would continue to offer financial assistance to Nationals minor leaguers through the non-profit organization More Than Baseball.

The full statement:

Washington Nationals players were excited to learn that our minor leaguers will continue receiving their full stipends. We are grateful that efforts have been made to restore their pay during these challenging times.

We remain committed to supporting them. Nationals players are partnering with More Than Baseball to contribute funds that will offer further assistance and financial support to any minor leaguers who were in the Nationals organization as of March 1.

We’ll continue to stand with them as we look forward to resuming our 2020 MLB season.

Kudos to Doolittle and the other Nationals continuing to offer a helping hand in a trying time. The players shouldn’t have to subsidize their employers’ labor expenses, but that is the world we live in today.