Los Angeles Dodgers’ right-hander Zack Greinke expressed less than enthusiastic comments about the team’s Opening Series in Australia, even without knowing if he’ll even be pitching in the two games.
Many expect Greinke and Clayton Kershaw to start the games for the Dodgers against the Arizona Diamondbacks, but manager Don Mattingly has been mum on the subject.
According to Steve Dilbeck of the LA Times, Mattingly isn’t guaranteeing that the reigning Cy Young award winner will make the start:
And in today’s edition of how the Dodgers can really tick off Australia, it appears they are seriously considering not starting star left-hander Clayton Kershaw in their two games to open the season in Sydney. Manager Don Mattingly has gone from intimating on the first day of camp that Kershaw and Zack Greinke would pitch in the two-game series to doing his best Mr. Bojangles every time the topic is brought up.
Everything’s a possibility, Mattingly said Monday.
Mattingly could be utilizing a managerial tactic used by many to keep his plan under wraps, but also could be concerned about Kershaw and his left arm. Last season, Kershaw set a career-high in innings pitched and then signed a seven-year, $215 million contract extension in the off-season. Kershaw is lined up to start three separate openers in Australia, San Diego and at Dodger Stadium, but concerns with a large workload so early in the season has the team considering alternatives to start in Australia.
Kershaw won his second Cy Young last season after finishing with a 1.83 ERA to lead the league for the third straight season. In the postseason, the 25-year-old threw on three days’ rest to clinch the NLDS against the Atlanta Braves for the Dodgers. Overall, he threw 259.1 innings last season in 37 starts, the most in his six-year career. Starting the three openers would give him three starts in the first six games and potentially push him to another career-high in innings.
The Dodgers will start Spring Training games on Wednesday with Kershaw on the mound, but all eyes will be on if he’s selected to start the first game of the season.
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