After the off day, we head into a stretch of nine straight game days for the Dodgers with some team-related stories over the last few days.
Clayton Kershaw reached 200 career wins last week (and got number 201 on Sunday, too), which prompted Noah Trister at the Associated Press to note how unlikely it is for a pitcher to reach 300 wins anymore. But also, Kershaw has a pair of looming milestones — 161 strikeouts shy of 3,000, a club of only 19 members; and 13 quality starts shy of 300.
Kershaw has also been named the Dodgers pitcher of the week 107 times in the 356 weekly reviews we’ve run on this site since 2009, including last week.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman talked with Bill Plunkett at the Orange County Register on a number of topics, including the club’s slow start, the payroll, and the struggling bullpen. On the latter:
“It definitely is volatile,” Friedman said of bullpens in general. “We’re at the point right now where we still very much believe in the group. We’re just not doing some things as well as we did last year that we’re going to lock in on. And obviously, at some point if we’re not right about that then we’ll make changes and figure it out. But we’re still very optimistic in terms of where guys are, what those levers are to pull to help get them back to where they were.”
Home run tweeter Walker Buehler shared the latest step in his recovery from Tommy John surgery and flexor tendon repair in his right elbow from last August. On Sunday, Buehler posted a brief video of him throwing. He began a light throwing program back on March 2 during spring training.
Old friend Josh Sborz is in the Rangers bullpen these days, but was put in an unfamiliar position on Saturday. Up 16-2 on the A’s, Sborz entered in the eighth inning on a double switch, with designated hitter Nathaniel Lowe moving to first base. That meant Sborz was due up fifth in the bottom of the frame. His chance to bat happened, and because of the blowout was facing a position player on the mound, Oakland infielder Jace Peterson, who struck him out.
Rangers bullpen is not satisfied pic.twitter.com/yR5hlajeSB— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) April 23, 2023
Jeff Wilson at Rangers Today wrote about the razzing Sborz got for his strikeout.
This is not the first time Sborz batted in the majors. Back in 2021, in a game at Dodger Stadium, also a blowout win by the Rangers, Sborz was the eighth batter in the top of the ninth. Andy Burns, a 30-year-old veteran who started at second base that night in his first major league game in five years, also struck out Sborz.