Clayton Kershaw has been the Dodgers' Opening Day starter the past eight seasons. That streak, however, could be in jeopardy.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters on Monday that it's "fair" to assume his ace will not be ready in time for the team's first regular season game this year. Kershaw is currently dealing with inflammation in his left throwing arm.
After not feeling right in his first bullpen session of spring training, the Dodgers shut down Kershaw. The three-time Cy Young award winner is playing catch on Monday, and has continued to up the ante.
Clayton Kershaw feeling well enough to play catch again today. Throws increasingly firmer each day.— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) March 4, 2019
Kershaw missed multiple starts in 2018 from back issues and biceps tendinitis. When healthy, he made 26 starts and went 9-5 with a 2.73 ERA over 161.1 innings pitched. After throwing a league-high 232.2 innings in 2015, Kershaw hasn't pitched more than 175 innings that past three seasons.
The news has to be concerning for the Dodgers, especially after signing Kershaw, who turns 31 on March 19, to a three-year, $93 million deal this offseason.
Walker Buehler is the likely candidate to take over for Kershaw on Opening Day. The 24-year-old went 8-5 with a 2.62 ERA last season and finished third in the National League Rookie of the Year race.
The Giants don't face Dodgers until April 29, which could come right in time if Kershaw starts the season on the injured list.