David Freese
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David Freese announces retirement from MLB

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Dodgers infielder David Freese announced his retirement from Major League Baseball on Saturday. The veteran infielder wrapped up his 11th and final season in the majors following the club’s elimination from the NLDS on Wednesday.

In a lengthy Twitter post, Freese thanked each of his five former teams, as well as those who have supported his career over the last decade:

Family, friends, teammates, coaches, and fans that handed out support especially when your lives were already full, you helped more than you know. Padres, Cardinals, Angels, Pirates, and Dodgers. You took a 23-year-old kid out of college and pushed him to 36. Can’t thank you enough for that. Needed it. Will never stop thinking about the days I got to be around such wonderful people playing this game. As I move forward with the next phase of my life, I am forever grateful to all of you and the game of baseball.

Freese began his major-league career with the Cardinals back in 2009 and played out a five-year track in St. Louis that included his first (and only) All-Star designation and two postseason MVP distinctions for his performance during the club’s electric championship run in 2011. Following that 2011 World Series win — and several unsuccessful postseason runs in subsequent seasons — Freese took short-lived gigs with the Angels, Pirates, and Dodgers, working his way up to a lifetime .277/.351/.423 batting line with 113 home runs, a .775 OPS, and 19.2 fWAR.

Clayton Kershaw to make Opening Day start for Dodgers

Clayton Kershaw Opening Day
Adam Davis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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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.