LOS ANGELES >> From 2011 to 2018 traffic jams, sold-out crowds and Clayton Kershaw were given on Opening Day. None were part of Opening Day 2020.
For the second consecutive season, Kershaw opens the regular season on the Injured List. In 2019, his franchise record of eight consecutive season openings ended as a result of a spring-long battle with a sore shoulder.
This year, however, Kershaw seemed as healthy as he had been in years during the aborted spring training in February and March, avoiding the back problems that had been an annual problem for him from 2016 to 2018. He arrived at the summer camp with multiple innings during training and was on schedule to start the Thursday-evening opener against the San Francisco Giants.
However, during a weight room workout on Tuesday, Kershaw started experiencing back stiffness and the Dodgers chose to put him on the IL and start Dustin May against the Giants.
“His back stiffened and he was treated for it that night, feeling better,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “He came in yesterday (Wednesday) and felt a little better. This morning, just (talking) with the training staff, to make sure we were careful, we didn’t think it wise to start it. “
Roberts would not speculate about how long Kershaw will remain on the sidelines, but said he would be eligible to get off IL next week if the Dodgers are in Arizona.
“I don’t know the timetable. And I don’t think it would be too responsible to try to stab,” said Roberts. “I just hope he gets better and better every day and we get him back on as soon as possible. the hill. “
May 22 becomes the youngest Opening Day-starter of the Dodgers since a slightly younger 22-year old Fernando Valenzuela opened the opener in 1983. May was not on the first season-opening roster announced by the Dodgers on Thursday-morning, but was recalled and added to the squad. Roberts said May was wary on Wednesday and didn’t pitch to the hitters as originally planned.
“He’s just very insensitive,” said Roberts about May. “He’s a very confident young man. He clearly has very good things. So it’s something Dustin adapts very well when there is a change in plans.
“I think the disappointment for me is for Clayton because he’s just as prepared as any other player I’ve ever been to and starting Opening Day means a lot to him. Not letting him experience the night I think I just feel for him. “