Clayton Kershaw's Shoulder Injury to Keep Him Out of Dodgers' Opening Day Lineup

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 19, 2019

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws against the Philadelphia Phillies during the third inning of a baseball game, Thursday, May 31, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Dodgers will have a different pitcher than Clayton Kershaw starting on Opening Day for the first time since 2010.

According to ESPN.com, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the shoulder inflammation the southpaw has dealt with during spring training will prevent him from toeing the rubber March 28 against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

"When he's ready to pitch for us is when he'll pitch for us," Roberts said of Kershaw, who hasn't pitched a spring training game this year but completed a bullpen session without issue Sunday.

This is just the latest injury concern for the ace after he spent time on the injured list with biceps tendonitis in his pitching arm during the 2018 campaign. He also missed additional time with a lower back strain, which raised red flags considering he had back issues in 2017 as well.

When healthy, Kershaw is one of the best pitchers in baseball with a laundry list of accomplishments on his resume. He is a three-time National League Cy Young winner, seven-time All-Star, the 2014 NL MVP, a Gold Glove winner and a five-time ERA leader.

While it is not reasonable to expect other pitchers to replicate what Kershaw brings to the table when he is at his best, Los Angeles does have other arms it can turn to while the ace is sidelined.

Walker Buehler can carry the rotation, while Hyun-Jin Ryu, Rich Hill, Ross Stripling and Kenta Maeda provide depth.

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