Dodgers fans may be worrying about Clayton Kershaw after he did not look like his usual self for the entirety of spring training.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are looking to run it back in 2021 as the defending World Series champions. The team added Trevor Bauer to the rotation, but Clayton Kershaw remains the Opening Day starter like he has been for the past decade.
Fans may be questioning Dave Roberts’ decision after a brutal spring training for the southpaw that only got worse as time went on. Is it officially time to worry about Kershaw’s ability to lead the rotation?
Clayton Kershaw’s spring went from bad to worse
Kershaw made four starts in the month of March. He finished with a 10.22 ERA in only 12.1 innings of work.
His third outing of the month seemed to be as bad as it could get. The southpaw allowed five earned runs on eight hits in four innings of action. Then came his start March 26 when he did not look like an Opening Day starter. That disaster saw him allow eight runs on nine hits in only 3.1 innings. Such a start is the opposite of a regular season tune-up.
It is fair for fans and the front office to have some concerns. Kershaw is on the final year of a three-year, $93 million extension and the team needs to figure out if they want to offer another big deal to the three-time Cy Young Award winner.
Everyone must remember this is still only spring training. Kershaw has a career ERA of 2.43 and has only gone above the 3.00 mark once since 2009. So the stats themselves aren’t directly indicating he will have a terrible regular season.
The concerns do begin to creep in when wondering if the bad starts are due to a major dip in velocity and command. Kershaw is 33 years old and at some point a major drop in ability will arrive. Being a regular starter at the MLB level since 2008 could have an impact on his arm, eventually.
Kershaw can wipe away all the worries with a great month of April. If he struggles, Bauer should be able to take over as the true ace of the staff.