If you’re a true friend of the show, you tuned in this past Tuesday to hear our conversation with Jerry Hairston Jr on the Blue Heaven podcast. But even if you didn’t, Dodgers Nation has you covered. We gave JHair a call to catch up with him and get his opinions on the hottest spring topics.
Giving Kershaw Time
One thing FRG and I have agreed on since we left Spring Training is that Kershaw needs time. The soon 31-year-old southpaw has been shut down a few times already with some shoulder soreness, but there is not a need to rush him back. Jerry seemed to agree with that idea.
I think they’re being very cautious with him…he’s got a lot of miles on his left arm over the years…You’ve got to make sure that even if he doesn’t start Opening Day, that’s okay. The main thing is to make sure that Clayton is healthy…We don’t want him pitching at 70 or 80 percent throughout the year. – JHair
JHair certainly struck a chord with Dodgers Nation, who overwhelmingly voted to sit Kershaw in hopes of getting him back to full health. In our recent Twitter poll, over 86 percent of voters preferred to rest Kershaw over trying to push him for Opening Day. It’s pretty clear that fans would much rather him ready for the important games of the year rather than the ceremonial ones. Hairston continued with his opinions on Kershaw:
We have plans of pitching him in October…That’s why you have depth, guys like Rich Hill, Maeda, and Ryu on your staff. You also have the young guys too, Walker Buehler, Julio Urias has looked exceptional in spring so far. He’s touching 96 at times…he’s got really good control of his breaking stuff…Why not give him a chance?
The truth is that the team needs him at 100 percent in October, not on Opening Day. Getting Kershaw ready to go will take some time, and rushing him to make the first start of the season is just a flat-out terrible idea.
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Seager Is Going To Be Fine
The same can be said for Corey Seager, who Hairston also took some time to talk about.
I think he’s right on schedule. With him, you don’t have to worry about the wear and tear of his throwing arm. Your job is to make sure you build up his arm…He’s a guy that I think his swing is there…Now it’s about getting him into games and making sure he’s comfortable in at-bats. You’ve got to remember, he missed most of last year.
One thing we’ve noticed about Seager early on is that he does seem to be trending in the right direction. Even after going at a higher intensity, we did not hear of him having to be shut down or worry about lingering soreness. From the outside, it sure looks like Seager is right where he needs to be.
You can’t simulate a game, you just can’t. I think the biggest thing for him is when he’s going to have to make that Derek Jeter throw in the hole. When he has to dive and get up to gun a guy out at first, I think once he passes that test in a game then psychologically he can get over that and be ready to go.
Jerry went on to express his full confidence in Corey, and that he truly believed he would be back to peak Seager form. For all of us on the set, this was incredibly exciting to hear. That sort of confidence from a guy with that long of a big league career made us feel like we are about to see some great things from Seager in 2019 and beyond.
We chatted a little bit more with Jerry on the show, and you can listen below! We talk in depth about Bryce Harper’s contract, the future of Philadelphia, and even the dreaded Lakers. Tune in to Dodgers Nation every Tuesday!
[button link=”https://www.dodgersnation.com/guest-jerry-hairston-jr-talks-kershaw-seager-and-more-episode-44-blue-heaven-podcast/2019/03/06/” type=”big” color=”red”] Dodgers Podcast: Guest Jerry Hairston Jr[/button]