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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.

Joe Girardi steps down as manager of USA Baseball

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Baseball is an Olympic sport once again and USA Baseball begins the road to qualifying for the 2020 Games in just a couple of weeks. They’ll be doing it with a new manager, though, as current team USA manager Joe Girardi has stepped down from the role in order to concentrate on his quest to return to managing in the big leagues.

Girardi has interviewed for the Cubs job already and is candidate for the openings with the Mets and the Phillies. His stepping down from the Olympic job suggests that he thinks he stands a pretty good chance of getting one of the seven current openings around the game. Or, at the very least, that he wishes to show clubs with openings that he’s serious.

Girardi will be replaced by Scott Brosius, who was poised to be Girardi’s bench coach with Team USA.

The team begins training in Arizona on October 21. It begins playing qualifier games in early November in Mexico. Eventually, the 2020 Olympic Games will feature a six-nation field.