A lot of talk exists about where Los Angeles Dodgers’ starting pitcher stands amongst the elite class within the sport. While Kershaw is paid as if he’s one of the best in the game, is he actually still the game’s best?
Interestingly enough on FS1’s new show Fair Game, Dodgers’ analyst Jerry Hairston Jr. took a stance on the topic. Within the video below, Hairston says that Kershaw is no longer the best pitcher in baseball and explains why.
When asked by the host if Kershaw was still the best in the game, Hairston Jr. answered quickly.
“Not anymore, and I think Clayton Kershaw would agree with me.”
Now, let’s look at the reasoning behind Hairston Jr.’s statement.
— Fair Game (@FairGameonFS1) October 28, 2019
First off, Hairston Jr. says in so many words that Kershaw has a lot of mileage on his tires. Moreover, the heavy workload in his prime years could be affecting his current performance. Remember – as Hairston Jr. points out – the two were teammates during his prime.
“Clayton was so dominant for so long. Without question – for a nine or ten year run – he was the best pitcher on the planet. He won an MVP as a pitcher, that is next to impossible to do. We asked of him so much, he carried our team.
I joined him as a teammate in 2012 and 2013, and what we asked him to do is every fifth day; was to not only pitch well but pitch deep into ballgames. He exerted a lot of energy for so long. So now he’s in a phase in his early thirties, but he pitched a lot of innings when he was young too. Now, so maybe his age 31 or 32 is age 34 or 35 to him.”
Finally, Hairston Jr. has a theory on what Kershaw could do to help himself. Notably, he believes that re-inventing himself a little bit would help.
“He needs to learn another pitch, possibly a change-up to re-invent himself. I think this is an opportunity for him to do that.”
In closing, do you agree with Hairston Jr.’s assessment of Kershaw? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below.