Getty Images

Howie Kendrick wins Heart and Hustle Award

1 Comment

Every year, the MLB Players Alumni Association announces a winner for its annual Heart and Hustle Award. The award is given to the player who “best embodies the values, spirits and traditions of baseball.” The winner of the 2019 award is Nationals infielder Howie Kendrick.

The finalists, one from each team, were announced in July.

Kendrick, 36, hit .344/.395/.572 with 23 doubles, 17 home runs, 62 RBI, and 61 runs scored in 370 plate appearances for the Nationals during the regular season. He spent most of his time at first base but also logged significant innings at second and third base. During the postseason, Kendrick batted .386/.328/.444 with a pair of homers and 12 RBI. He earned NLCS MVP honors, helping the Nationals sweep the Cardinals and advance to the World Series, where they defeated the Astros in seven games.

Kendrick is the first member of the Nationals to win the award. The winners since the award’s inception in 2005:

2005: SS David Eckstein, Cardinals
2006: 2B Craig Biggio, Astros
2007: 2B Craig Biggio, Astros
2008: OF Grady Sizemore, Indians
2009: 1B Albert Pujols, Cardinals
2010: SP Roy Halladay, Phillies
2011: OF Torii Hunter, Angels
2012: OF Mike Trout, Angels
2013: 2B Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox
2014: UT Josh Harrison, Pirates
2015: 1B Anthony Rizzo, Cubs
2016: 3B Todd Frazier, White Sox
2017: OF Brett Gardner, Yankees
2018: OF Mookie Betts, Red Sox

Clayton Kershaw to make Opening Day start for Dodgers

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

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.