Clayton Kershaw was set to make his franchise-record ninth career Opening Day start on March 26, when the Los Angeles Dodgers were scheduled to host the San Francisco Giants to kick off the 2020 season.
Unfortunately, that game was not able to take place as the whole league has been shut down for the time being due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The timing obviously wasn’t ideal with players already having gone through almost a full Spring Training in preparation for the season. The original plan was for Dodgers players to remain in Arizona to continue training, but Camelback Ranch has since been closed.
Kershaw is one of the hardest-working players in the game, so even a pandemic is not going to stop him from getting his workouts in so he can be ready whenever the 2020 season gets underway.
In an interview with Fred Roggin and Rodney Peete on AM 570 LA Sports, Kershaw expressed confidence he will be prepared once MLB is cleared to begin a second Spring Training and the season:
“I’m in Texas right now, and at the house here I have a little gym that I’m able to do some stuff. I’m thankful for that. I don’t know what I would be doing otherwise. I’d be going stir crazy. Playing catch here, too. I’m doing my part. I’ve got a net that does just fine for a partner. I’m doing my part and whenever this thing rolls around, I’ll be as ready as anybody else.”
Before the regular season gets going, there is expected to be another Spring Training, shortened to roughly two or three weeks so players — particularly pitchers — can ramp up once again.
Ross Stripling recently estimated it takes a pitcher three starts to be ready for regular-season action. With Kershaw being named the Opening Day starter, he should be the first to take the mound for the Dodgers when Spring Training gets underway.
One benefit the Dodgers may have that other teams don’t is they have nine capable starters who can also pitch multiple games out of the bullpen if needed. That will allow them to take their time building up their veteran starters like Kershaw to avoid injury.
Make sure to follow us on Instagram! It’s the best way to see exclusive coverage from games and events, get your questions answered, and more!