Clayton Kershaw won’t start Dodgers’ season opener; Walker Buehler won’t either

first_img Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start GLENDALE, Ariz. — The calendar made it obvious. Dave Roberts made it official.The Dodgers manager finally said definitively Monday that Clayton Kershaw will not be ready to start on Opening Day.“In talking to Clayton and also looking at the schedule – he’s not going to start Opening Day,” Roberts said. “When he’s ready to pitch for us is when he’ll pitch for us.”Roberts said the decision on who to start Opening Day has not been made yet – “but we’re getting close.” He eliminated Walker Buehler, who hasn’t pitched in a spring game yet after dealing with his own issues early in camp. Buehler is scheduled to start Tuesday night and throw three innings or 45 pitches against the Cleveland Indians. Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco “If we don’t see him as a starter, then it’s probably unlikely (he would start the season on the active roster),” Roberts said.That opens the door for Ross Stripling who has spent much of the spring trying to read the tea leaves and guess at his role – reliever or starter.Related Articles Whoever starts on March 28 against the Arizona Diamondbacks – left-handers Hyun-Jin Ryu and Rich Hill are the leading candidates – it will be the first time since 2010 that anyone other than Kershaw started on Opening Day for the Dodgers. His eight consecutive season-opening starts is the franchise record.“He understands that he wants to put himself in the best position to help himself and the ballclub,” Roberts said. “So if he’s not built up to where he feels he can help us then it’s moot. We’re all on the same page.“I think it (the Opening Day streak) is definitely a feather in Clayton’s cap. But it’s not just about making an Opening Day start to add to your streak. It’s about being healthy and giving your team a chance to win. He’s in support of it. We are as well because we do have to take the long view and do what’s best for the player.”Kershaw’s spring was thrown off schedule when he had shoulder discomfort during early bullpen sessions. He stopped throwing for most of a week and received treatment. Over the past week, he has thrown two bullpen sessions at nearly full effort and is scheduled to throw to hitters for the first time Wednesday in a live batting practice session, usually the final step before pitching in a game.Roberts said it hasn’t been decided yet whether Kershaw will open the season on the active roster or the injured list. But he did say Kershaw will travel to Southern California with the team for the Freeway Series Sunday through Tuesday.center_img “So now there’s officially an open spot (in the rotation),” he said after the news of Kershaw’s status came out. “At one point (earlier in the spring), Doc said I’m the next man up so I’ll take that and run with it.”He can. After the game (in which Stripling pitched 4-2/3 innings), Roberts confirmed that Stripling will open the season in the starting rotation. How long he stays there will likely be determined by Kershaw’s progression.“With Clayton not being able to start the season as a starter, Ross will start,” Roberts said Monday night. “Right now, a lot of it is contingent on where Clayton ends up.”If Wednesday’s live BP session goes well, Kershaw will pitch again on Saturday, the last day of camp in Arizona. If he doesn’t pitch in a Cactus League game, however, the Dodgers would have more flexibility in back-dating an injured list move at the start of the season. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies last_img read more