Buster Olney is highly respected across the industry. Both fans and teams all check Olney’s tweets to get informed about the latest news surrounding the baseball world. Recently, Buster Olney made a ranking decision that might not sit well with Dodger fans,
For the first time in three seasons, Buster Olney did not rank Clayton Kershaw as the number one starting pitcher in the league. Despite yet another Cy Young caliber season, Kershaw came in at number 4 on Buster’s list.
What’s unreasonable about Olney’s rankings is that Kershaw didn’t even come in second. Olney ranked Max Scherzer, Corey Kluber, and Chris Sale ahead of Kershaw. While each of those pitchers are great, they’re not better than Clayton Kershaw.
A significant factor in Olney’s rankings is health. Kershaw hasn’t exactly been the healthiest starting pitcher over the last two seasons and missed six weeks last season with a back injury. When healthy it’s difficult for anyone to deny Kershaw as the best pitcher in the game. But that’s when healthy.
Maybe I’m missing something. Olney is a knowledgeable man that is in tune with baseball better than the next guy. Could this mean that Kershaw is no longer the pitcher we make him out to be? I’m not ready to say that, but as Kershaw joins the wrong side of 30, it could be fair to accept this notion that Kershaw is no longer the best in the game.
Kershaw has dealt with back injuries the past two season that has limited his production. Yes, when healthy Kershaw is dominant, but that’s the thing, when Kershaw is healthy. Can the Dodgers expect a full season from Kershaw? Unfortunately, I’m not so sure anymore.
Kershaw’s talent is undeniable. But it might be time to accept the fact that he’s not the best pitcher in the game because he can’t stay healthy for a full season. I respect Buster Olney’s opinion, and while it may not be the most popular decision, I can see what he’s thinking by mot ranking Kershaw number 1. Kershaw is still one of the best pitchers in the game, but Kershaw might not be the best anymore considering his age and health issues.
[button color=”red” size=”big” alignment=”center” rel=”follow” openin=”newwindow” url=”https://www.dodgersnation.com/get-know-newest-dodger-scott-alexander/2018/01/07/”]Get to Know Scott Alexander[/button]