Clayton Kershaw to start All-Star Game for NL, McClanahan for AL

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LOS ANGELES — Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw will start for the National League in the first All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium since 1980, and Tampa Bay’s Shane McClanahan will be on the mound for the American League.

Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani will lead off for the AL as the designated hitter. Last year, he was the starting pitcher and led off as the DH in the AL’s 5-2 win at Denver.

The 34-year-old Kershaw, a three-time Cy Young Award winner, is 7-2 with a 2.14 ERA and 75 strikeouts in 71 2/3 innings. Two years ago, he helped Los Angeles win its first World Series title since 1988.

Kershaw, who passed Don Sutton in April for the team career strikeouts lead, will become the third Dodgers pitcher to start in the last seven All-Star Games, following Zack Greinke in 2015 at Cincinnati and Hyun Jin Ryu in 2019 at Cleveland. He will be the 13th pitcher to start in his home ballpark, the first since former teammate Max Scherzer in 2018 at Washington.

In a matchup of left-handers, McClanahan becomes the second Rays pitcher to start an All-Star game after David Price in 2010 at Anaheim. McClanahan, a first-time All-Star, is 10-3 with a major league-leading 1.71 ERA and 147 strikeouts in 110 2/3 innings.

Ohtani is followed in the AL batting order by New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge, Boston third baseman Rafael Devers, Toronto first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Yankees left fielder Giancarlo Stanton, Minnesota center fielder Byron Buxton, Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson, Cleveland second baseman Andres Gimenez and Toronto catcher Alejandro Kirk.

Atlanta right fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. will lead off for the NL and be followed by Dodgers center fielder Mookie Betts, San Diego third baseman Manny Machado, St. Louis first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, Dodgers shortstop Trea Turner, Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras, Atlanta designated hitter William Contreras, San Francisco left fielder Joc Pederson and New York Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil.

Willson and William Contreras are the first set of brothers to make the All-Star rosters in the same year since Aaron and Bret Boone in 2003. The Contreras siblings are the fifth pair of brothers to start together in the All-Star Game, joining Mort and Walker Cooper in 1942 and ’43, Dixie and Harry Walker in 1947, Joe and Dom DiMaggio in 1949 and Roberto and Sandy Alomar Jr. in 1992.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.