Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw Addresses His Heavy Workload Early in His Career

No regrets from one of the greatest to ever do it.

This day in age, big league pitchers are treated a little bit differently early in their careers. Their arrival to the big leagues generally means that they are pitching with training wheels on still, limited in pitch counts and workloads for the season. But that’s not how the Dodgers treated Clayton Kershaw. 

The face of the franchise for more than a decade, Kershaw was pitching 200-plus innings by the time he was 22-years-old. He added 4 more 200-plus inning seasons over the course the next 5 seasons, totaling 1332 innings for the Dodgers between 2010-2015. That was at the height of his career. 

But when The LA Times’ Dylan Hernandez spoke with a former team official, there was a lot of regret about how they handled that. The wish was that they didn’t work him so hard at his peak and that they didn’t drive him straight into the ground. 

But when relayed that remorse this week at Camelback Ranch, Kershaw saw right through the question. The Dodgers hurler knew it was about injuries and where he was at now in his career. For him, there are no regrets.

“I guess your question is if I would have protected myself more, do you think I would be less hurt and have more time in the future? “Even if that was true, I wouldn’t change anything.”

Maybe that led him to where he is now, and maybe he didn’t. But the Dodgers relied heavily on Kershaw in the postseason, often leaning on him to pitch on just 3-days rest. For a guy who already had a ton of innings on his arm, that’s tough.

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But that’s just who Clayton Kershaw is. It’s what has made him so universally loved by the Dodgers faithful, the willingness to compete and want the ball no matter what. Kersh is coming off of an elbow and forearm that shut down his 2021 season, the first time he’s ever had an issue like that. 

He passed his first test of Spring Training this year though, making the initial Cactus League start. That’s a big step in the right direction for him. Maybe if they would have eased up on him in those peak years, then maybe we would be seeing a different Kershaw in 2022. 

But he’s Clayton Kershaw. And he’s going to give you everything he’s got every single time he goes out there. 

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