4 Dodgers who have been the most concerning during Spring Training
By Jason Reed
3. Clayton Kershaw
Look, I know this is surprising and it pains me to put Clayton Kershaw on this list. While his fastball velocity in his first Spring Training start was extremely promising for fans, his overall production on the bump has been less than ideal.
Of course, the sample size is very, very small as Kershaw has only pitched in two games this spring. But we have to judge based on the sample size that we have and the fact of the matter is that Kershaw has not been very sharp.
In 12.1 innings pitched (fifth-most this spring), Kershaw has allowed seven runs on 14 hits with two walks and nine strikeouts. The most concerning thing is how many home runs he's allowing. Kershaw has allowed four bombs, including one to former teammate Corey Seager. Not good.
It's also concerning that Kershaw is typically pretty good when he pitches in Arizona. There have only been two times in which Kershaw has had a really rough spring that was worse than this one: 2014 and 2021.
Kershaw was in his prime in 2014 and won both the National League Cy Young and MVP award. However, he didn't start off the season great as he allowed seven runs in a May 17 start and had a 3.57 ERA at the end of that month.
He rounded it into shape, obviously, but that did not happen fully in 2021. Kershaw also had a bad start (for his standards) in 2021 in which he had a 3.66 ERA after his 13th outing. In his first 13 starts, Kershaw had four where he allowed five runs and another where he allowed four.
Kershaw's worst pitching (he had a 3.55 ERA in 2021) is still better than a lot of guys in the league. But with how he's pitching this spring, I'm not sure if we're going to see the dominant version of Kershaw for a few weeks/months.