GLENDALE — Yesterday it was announced that Clayton Kershaw would not be getting the start for the Dodgers on Opening Day, ending his historic eight-year run as the starter. Not only will he be missing game one of the season, but he’ll be starting the season on the injured list.
“I don’t see that happening,” Dave Roberts said when asked if Kershaw would be on the roster. “If he were on the Opening Day roster, he’d be starting.”
With Kershaw officially out, the plan for him is to still face hitters for the first time on Wednesday. “Once he passes that hurdle, you’re looking at another hitting session or progressed bullpen on Saturday.” Roberts said.
Since Kershaw, along with Walker Buehler, will both not be getting the start on Opening Day, the Dodgers have about a week to decide who will get the ball to begin the season. “We haven’t made that decision yet,” Roberts said. “Now we’re looking at schedules and how they line up with Opening Day. They’re all good candidates.”
“I think that the scheduling makes the most sense and how they are aligned. You have to reshuffle guys. After the first [series] there’s an off-day, that’s something we feel someone might benefit from.”
Deciding an Opening Day starter might not be the toughest decision that Roberts has to make. Brad Miller, who has impressed during his limited time in the spring, has the option to opt out of his contract if he doesn’t make the 25-man roster to start the season.
With guys like Chris Taylor, Joc Pederson, Alex Verdugo and Enrique Hernandez all shuffling around, there likely isn’t room for Miller on the roster.
“He has a decision to make, and has that right,” Roberts said. “It’s been good to put eyes on him and see him perform. Things can still change between now and when he chooses. I’ve been very pleased to get to know him. Each day, I know he’s with us, and we’ll see where that leads us.”
Walker Buehler will take the mound tonight for his first cactus league start of the year. He’s expected to throw 45 pitches and go three innings.
Tonight’s starting lineup:
Tonight’s #DodgersST lineup vs. Indians:— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) March 19, 2019
The game will be at 7:05 p.m. PT on SportsNet LA.