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.