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Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw to Play for Team USA in 2023 World Baseball Classic

Doric SamDecember 19, 2022

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws to a San Diego Padres batter during the first inning in Game 2 of a baseball NL Division Series, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
AP Photo/Ashley Landis

While there isn't much that Clayton Kershaw hasn't accomplished during his storied career, he seized the opportunity to do something he's never done before on Monday.

MLB announced that the Los Angeles Dodgers veteran pitcher will join the Team USA roster for the 2023 World Baseball Classic. It will be the first time Kershaw represents his country in the WBC.

In 2017, Kershaw declined an invitation to pitch in the WBC for Team USA. He addressed the possibility of participating in the world tournament earlier this month, telling reporters, "We're still working through some things there. Obviously, it would be a huge honor."

Kershaw will be joined by Dodgers teammates Mookie Betts and Will Smith on the Team USA roster. The 2023 group features a star-studded lineup of position players, including 2022 National League MVP Paul Goldschmidt, three-time American League MVP Mike Trout and 2022 All-Stars Pete Alonso, Nolan Arenado and Trea Turner.

The pitching staff includes names such as St. Louis Cardinals veteran Adam Wainwright and New York Yankees All-Star Nestor Cortes, but the addition of the three-time Cy Young Award winner makes him the ace of the rotation. Kershaw can be the key to leading Team USA to a second consecutive WBC title.

The 34-year-old went 12-3 for the Dodgers this past season while posting a 2.28 ERA, a 0.94 WHIP and 137 strikeouts across 22 starts. He was selected to his ninth All-Star Game, and he became Los Angeles' franchise leader in strikeouts during his start against the Detroit Tigers on April 30.

The 2023 WBC will begin on March 8 and conclude on March 21. Games will be held in Miami, Phoenix, Tokyo and Taichung, Taiwan. The tournament field has expanded from 16 to 20 teams.