Since 2010, Opening Day for the Los Angeles Dodgers had been like a script written in the darkest permanent marker. It read something like, “Dodgers take the field, the anthem is played and Clayton Kershaw takes the mound.”
It was written with such permanence that the idea of change felt unimaginable, perhaps even naive.
But, when Dave Roberts stood in the middle of his regular afternoon media scrum on what should have been a normal Friday, news broke that would quickly erase Opening Day’s reliable routine.
More from Dodgers Way
- Kevin Kiermaier being ‘top target’ to replace Cody Bellinger is bad sign for Dodgers
- Are the Dodgers really prepared to hand Shohei Ohtani a blank check?
- Dodgers fans shouldn’t dismiss interest in Dansby Swanson for this reason
- Giants laughably sign pitcher that Dodgers absolutely own
- Dave Roberts’ quote about Padres in NLDS should motivate Dodgers
It was, “an arm sort of thing,” as Roberts called. Kershaw threw a bullpen and the bullpen threw right back at him. The Dodgers’ superstar felt wrong.
In Kershaw’s wrong feelings the Dodgers were left to do the right thing. They scratched Kershaw from making his regularly scheduled Opening Day start, leaving Ryu in his place.
After much anticipation though, Kershaw’s season is set to begin with an Opening Day start unlike any other he had ever made: Kershaw will make a rehab start in minor league opening day.
Kershaw’s season will begin with the Oklahoma City Dodgers under the watchful eye of first-year manager Travis Barbary. The start will be made on Thursday afternoon in OKC.
Roberts told media that Kershaw would be throwing four innings or 60 pitches in the Thursday night rehab start with a potential fifth inning to be simulated in the bullpen.
Despite a consistent resistance to minor league rehab appearances, Kershaw will make this start and most likely follow it with another before rejoining the major league rotation.
Upon his return, Julio Urias will more than likely head to the bullpen where his innings can be limited while still keeping his production on the major league roster.
Kershaw’s results in the opening day appearance could be awe-inspiring or lack-luster but it truly is not the result that matters. This is the star southpaw’s first game action this year and just getting him out there for the maximum amount of time will be crucial to getting Kershaw back on the major league mound.