Dodgers News: Clayton Kershaw Pleased With Health, Velocity In First Spring Training Outing
Clayton Kershaw, 2020 Spring Training
Rick Scuteri/USA TODAY Sports

Last Spring Training was a difficult one for Los Angeles Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw as he dealt with shoulder trouble that forced him to begin the season on the 10-day injured list.

He eventually got healthy and had another All-Star season, and now every indication this spring is that Kershaw is feeling healthy and ready to go for the 2020 season after a successful winter of good health and throwing.

Kershaw had a chance to put that to the test when he took the mound in a Cactus League game for the first time this spring, and the results were positive. The southpaw threw 37 pitches in 1.2 innings against the Milwaukee Brewers, striking out four while only allowing two hitters to reach base, both on walks.

Despite his lack of command, Kershaw was pleased with how he looked and felt physically, via Michael Duarte of NBC L.A.:

“I felt great. It was awesome. I maybe didn’t hit one spot today. Physically, I felt like the ball was coming out (good), felt like the ball was breaking the right way. Now it’s just figure out how to throw strikes. Other than that, it’s a good first step, for sure.”

Kershaw’s fastball velocity averaged 90.3 mph in 2019, which was the lowest mark of his career. He sat at 91 mph and even touched 93 on Friday, something that even he was impressed with for his first outing since October:

“Yeah, I agree. More of how the ball was coming out and if it’s got that life at the end, which I think it did. I’m throwing four-seamers, so you want the ball to have life up in the zone. I feel like even compared to last year it’s a little bit better. … The curveball, it was breaking well. I probably threw one for a strike out of however many, but it did have good snap on it, which is good.”

The Dodgers’ pitching staff projects to be one of the best and deepest units in baseball in 2020, and having Kershaw healthy and at the top of his game will only solidify that.

Having so many other quality arms in Walker Buehler, David Price and Julio Urias, among others, in the rotation should only help take the pressure of Kershaw as he gets set to enter his age-32 season.

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