For the first time since 2010, Clayton Kershaw won’t be the Opening Day starter for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The left-hander, who has started a club-record eight straight openers, was ruled out of the March 28 start against the Arizona Diamondbacks due to the persistent shoulder inflammation he has dealt with all spring. He has yet to pitch in a spring training game.
“When he’s ready to pitch for us is when he’s going to pitch for us,” said manager Dave Roberts, adding that it was unlikely Kershaw will begin the season on the active roster.
Roberts didn’t announce an Opening Day starter on Monday, but right-hander Walker Buehler is definitely in the mix. The last Opening Day starter for the Dodgers not named Kershaw was Vicente Padilla in 2010.
—Atlanta Braves right-hander Julio Teheran is set to make his sixth consecutive Opening Day start, which would tie him with Hall of Famer Warren Spahn for the longest modern-day streak in franchise history.
Teheran’s Opening Day streak is now the longest current one in the majors after the Dodgers said that Kershaw’s streak will end at eight. Spahn opened six seasons in a row from 1957 to 1962, when the Braves were in Milwaukee.
Teheran, 28, has spent all eight of his major league seasons with the Braves, compiling a 67-62 record with a 3.64 ERA. Teheran went 9-9 last season with a 3.94 ERA, striking out 162 and walking 84 in 175 2/3 innings over 31 starts.
—A poor spring training won’t prevent Ichiro Suzuki from starting the Seattle Mariners’ opener in his native Japan.
Seattle manager Scott Servais said Ichiro will be in the starting lineup Wednesday when the Mariners face the Oakland Athletics in Tokyo.
Suzuki, 45, is just 2-for-31 this spring, but Servais has no qualms about penciling his name in the lineup.
—Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yohander Mendez will miss the first half of the season because of an elbow injury, team officials announced.
The 24-year-old exited his spring training start Sunday in the third inning after losing velocity and feeling tightness in his pitching elbow. An MRI revealed a Grade 1 strain of the ulnar collateral ligament. The left-hander will not need Tommy John surgery.
The plan is to give him six weeks of rest, followed by about another six weeks of a throwing program.
—Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia will not break camp with the team and instead will begin the 2019 season on the injured list.
Pedroia expects to remain in Florida and play extended spring training games to build strength in his surgically repaired left knee. Manager Alex Cora said there is no reason to fear a long-term absence from Pedroia.
Utility options Brock Holt and Eduardo Nunez are likely to platoon at second base with Pedroia out of the mix.
—In the midst of the Philadelphia Phillies’ late-season collapse in 2018, Carlos Santana apparently provided the biggest hit in the team’s clubhouse.
Philadelphia posted an abysmal 8-20 record in September after having the best record in baseball in late July, and the team’s then-first baseman — now with the Cleveland Indians — reportedly took his bat to the clubhouse television upon discovering his younger teammates playing the video game Fortnite during one game against rival Atlanta.
“I see a couple players — I don’t want to say names — they play video games during the game,” the 32-year-old veteran told ESPN, relating how he slugged the TV the players were using. “We come and lose too many games, and I feel like they weren’t worried about it — weren’t respecting their teammates or coaches or the staff or the (front) office. It’s not my personality. But I’m angry because I want to make it good.”
—Field Level Media