Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced Clayton Kershaw will make his 2021 Spring Training debut Friday afternoon against the Kansas City Royals. Kershaw is scheduled to go two innings in his first Cactus League outing of the year, which will air on ESPN and SportsNet LA.
Kershaw facing the Royals was one of two options the Dodgers were considering after his latest bullpen session on Tuesday. The other scenario called for the left-hander to throw another round of live batting practice.
Roberts previously assured Kershaw is in good health, even improved on last spring, and that it had no bearing on the Dodgers’ decision-making.
The soon-to-be-33-year-old is entering the final year of a contract extension signed with the Dodgers after the 2018 season. Kershaw recently clarified he is not contemplating retirement but that he also had not decided on his future beyond the 2021 campaign.
Bauer to follow Kershaw
One day after Kershaw is scheduled to make his spring debut, the Dodgers have Trevor Bauer as the probable. Interestingly, that Saturday start is due to come against the San Diego Padres.
It’s the first meeting between the top teams in the National League West since the NL Division Series and after both were active during the offseason. And for Bauer it will mark his second start against a divisional opponent.
Bauer allowed just one hit, retired six batters in a row and finished with two strikeouts over two scoreless innings in his Dodgers debut. “It felt good to be back out doing my job, but no real butterflies or adrenaline rush either,” he said.
“I got a little bit of an adrenaline rush when I signaled fastball at the last hitter. I’m looking forward to when the games matter and I get those butter flies, those adrenaline rushes. That’s what I live for, so I’m excited for that.”
That the Dodgers are allowing Bauer to face NL West opponents is noteworthy in itself as in past springs they have appeared to avoided doing such with Kershaw and Walker Buehler.
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