Clayton Kershaw: Start Against Angels ‘Was Good First Step’ For 2023

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Clayton Kershaw was among the early arrivals for Spring Training due to the expected participation in the 2023 World Baseball Classic, but his schedule wound up being adjusted after withdrawing from the Team USA roster.

Although Kershaw had support from the Los Angeles Dodgers to pitch in the international tournament for the first time in his career, he reportedly was unable to secure necessary insurance coverage.

Once Kershaw was no longer committed to the WBC, his throwing progression was temporarily paused. It resumed with multiple bullpen sessions that led to facing teammates in live batting practice before starting in a B game against players from the Chicago White Sox organization.

Kershaw’s five-day schedule then progressed to starting against the Los Angeles Angels on Friday. Kershaw endured some struggles but generally said he was pleased with the outing, as seen on SportsNet LA:

“It was good to get back out there again. Everything feels good physically. Obviously, got some stuff to work on, but overall it was a good first step. Just make some improvements and get back out there.”

Kershaw admitted he would have preferred better results but believes he’s in same position as other years:

“You’d like to have everything working so you can just focus on getting hitters out. But ultimately there’s something that you need to get better, and that’s no different for me now.”

Kershaw’s afternoon began on the wrong foot as he surrendered a leadoff home run to Taylor Ward and faced a 2-0 deficit through the first inning. Kevin Padlo led off the third with a homer, which was the last run Kershaw allowed.

He threw 58 pitches over three innings, falling one shy of the target Dodgers manager Dave Roberts set. The 34-year-old allowed the three runs on five hits and two walks, and finished with two strikeouts.

What’s next for Clayton Kershaw?

Kershaw is expected to continue starting in Cactus League games, and if he remains on turn every five days, would be lined up to pitch the second day of the regular season.

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