SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — Clayton Kershaw won’t start for the Los Angeles Dodgers on opening day because of the sore shoulder that’s slowed him at spring training, ending his streak of pitching eight straight openers.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced the decision Monday.
Kershaw has dealt with left shoulder inflammation this spring, and has yet to pitch in a game. The left-hander is scheduled to throw live batting practice on Wednesday, but there are no plans in place after that.
Roberts said it’s unlikely Kershaw would open the season on the active roster. Right-hander Ross Stripling will have a spot in the rotation.
The team has not announced a starter for the March 28 opener at home against Arizona, but Roberts did say it will not be Walker Buehler because his rest days don’t line up.
Buehler has also had a sore shoulder and is scheduled to make his first Cactus League appearance Tuesday, when he’s set to throw three innings against the Cleveland Indians.
Increasingly, it appears left-hander Rich Hill will get the ball against the Diamondbacks on opening day.
“We’re kind of honing in on it,” Roberts said. “It is kind of the process of elimination. We’re not prepared to say who it is, but we’re getting pretty close, yeah.”
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NOTES: Stripling pitched 4 2/3 innings Monday night against Texas, allowing two runs and striking out four. … In his bid to make the 25-man roster, Brad Miller came off the bench and homered in the seventh inning of a 3-1 loss to the Rangers. Miller was invited to camp on a minor league contract. “Obviously, his versatility defensively and his ability to take an at-bat, come off the bench, we’ve seen,” Roberts said. “He’s been there, he’s done that. In the batter’s box, he’s still doing a lot of things that translate to success in a major league season. It is a good thing that he’s made it a little bit more muddy for us.”
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