Clayton Kershaw is already facing a setback in 2020.
The 2020 MLB season is kicking off Thursday night and a top story from the day was Washington National star Juan Soto testing positive for COVID-19. It only took a few more hours for more bad news to drop.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants play the late game Thursday and Clayton Kershaw was set to start. It has just been announced he is not starting and is heading to the injured list — all before throwing a pitch in 2020.
Clayton Kershaw is out for Opening Day
Kershaw’s absence provides a huge opportunity for top Dodgers prospect Dustin May. May did make his debut in 2019 but is still considered a rookie. Memories of Fernando Valenzuela should flood into the minds of Dodgers fans, as he was the last rookie to start Opening Day for the team.
Kershaw’s absence is not COVID-19-related, which is a good initial sign. The official diagnosis is back stiffness after he reportedly injured himself lifting weights.
The southpaw got every Opening Day start for the Dodgers from 2011-18 before Hyun-Jin Ryu got the nod in 2019. Kershaw was back in the role this year, however, the bizarre year of 2020 continues on with a freak back injury.
It appears Kershaw was waiting to see if he could go for the opener. May was optioned to the team’s alternate training site earlier on Thursday, only to turn around and head back to start the game. He will have to get his emotions in check after such a whirlwind day.
Kershaw was looking to start fresh after blowing Game 5 of last year’s NLDS against the Nationals. He will have to wait a little longer and there is not a timetable for his return as of right now.