As MLB Network continues their Top 10 Right Now! series, the Dodgers again found themselves with a player near the top of the list. This time, it was a pitcher who ended up ranking as the number one pitcher in all of baseball. It’s not very surprising though, to see Clayton Kershaw so high up on this list.
The full list:
1. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
2. Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians
3. Chris Sale, Boston Red Sox
4. Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals
5. Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals
6. Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants
7. Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets
8. Carlos Carrasco, Cleveland Indians
9. Justin Verlander, Houston Astros
10. Kyle Hendricks, Chicago Cubs
Despite a down year in 2017 by his lofty standards, Kershaw still led the National League in ERA with a 2.31. He only threw 175 innings in 2017, but still managed 202 strikeouts and led the league with 18 wins. He finished 2nd in Cy Young voting, in large part due to his diminished workload. Kershaw is a 7-time All Star, a 3-time Cy Young winner, and the 2014 National League MVP as well as the owner of a No-Hitter. In short, Kershaw could retire tomorrow and he’d be a surefire first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee.
Kershaw will turn 30 in March, so he’s right in the prime of his career. The only concern moving forward is his chronic back issues. He has spent time on the disabled list in both of the past two seasons with back injuries. He’s been able to avoid surgery thus far, but if the injuries continue it may be in his future. Still, with his unreal work ethic he’ll likely remain a top-tier pitcher.
Despite all of his injuries, Kershaw continues to be a force on the mound. Health allowing, Kershaw will almost certainly have a great year in 2018. And with another great season under his belt, he’s sure to opt out of his contract and pursue the biggest contract a pitcher has ever landed. The Dodgers will be in a much better financial situation than they were this past off-season, so they’ll be capable of paying him as much as they see fit. They’ll most likely do whatever it takes to make sure Kershaw retires in Dodger blue.
Clayton Kershaw is not only the best pitcher right now, but perhaps the best of a generation. He may even be in the top 5 all-time discussion. If Kershaw continues his dominance, he could go down as the best pitcher in baseball history. We are witnessing greatness every time number 22 takes the field. The one accolade he doesn’t have is a World Series ring, and hopefully 2018 is his year to get one.
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