Mar 9, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) pitches the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Should We Be Worried About Clayton Kershaw?


Should we be worried about Clayton Kershaw? Probably not, Kershaw is the last guy I worry about. But if you’re not denying you’ve asked yourself this a couple of times this spring, then you may not be telling the truth. Of course you did. Don’t pretend like it didn’t enter your mind. Kershaw hasn’t had a good spring. He’s looked off, somewhat discombobulated.

Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

The shortened spring this year hasn’t helped things. Kershaw and the other pitchers have a very short window of time to prepare for the opening series in Sydney, Australia on March 22nd. Instead of getting the usual seven or eight starts in the spring, Kershaw has just four this year.

That’s probably not enough time to get a good rhythm going, and I think that’s what Kershaw’s issue has been this spring. He can’t get his rhythm out there. Last night he was kind of roughed up again, although Joc Pederson’s misplay of Adam Eaton’s slicing liner didn’t help the numbers. (Eaton scored on what was ruled an inside the park home run). Something is amiss with him.

Kershaw gave up five earned runs on eight hits in five plus frames Saturday night against the White Sox, in what is his final tune-up before Australia. Kershaw made 86 pitches, and threw 5.2 while walking one and whiffing five batters in the Dodger’s 5-4 loss to the Pale Hose. Kershaw also allowed two home runs, the inside the park variety to Adam Eaton, and then a three-run shot to right fielder Avisail Garcia in the sixth inning. Mechanically Kershaw looks fine, but something’s not right though, and I just can’t put my finger on it.

Something hasn’t been right with Kershaw all spring long, and I’m not trying to alarm anyone, just trying to point out that he hasn’t looked himself. This spring, Kershaw has thrown 14.2 innings, and has allowed 15 earned runs on 20 hits, and whiffed only ten. For Kershaw that whiff total is pretty low and concerns me more than anything. His ERA comes out to a very high 9.20. Last spring, Kershaw allowed just 30 hits in 28 innings, and whiffed 30. But he had three more starts last year.

Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

The good thing is Kershaw’s control has been fine. He’s walked just five, but he’s just looked out of sorts. Another good thing to consider is, the numbers don’t mean anything. It’s just spring training games, and I have 100% confidence in Kershaw. But the strange performances do have to make you wonder just a bit.

Maybe Kershaw has just been working on stuff, you know what I mean, “working on stuff”, and we’re all being trolled. Never the less, Kershaw and the Dodgers are out of time now. His next start will be the opening game in Sydney against the Snakes on March 22nd.

Kershaw has had an off spring. He has maintained that his arm feels great, and that there is nothing physically wrong with him. He’s just been, I don’t know off I guess you could say. Lack of ryhthm seems like a reasonably logical problem. We’re all going to just have to trust Kershaw on this. We should always trust Kershaw. When the games start to count, Kershaw will be just fine. Trust. Not to mention Kershaw is dynamite on any opening day of any kind. Keep the faith Dodger fans, everything will turn out fine. I feel a little better now, how abut you?

Tags: Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers