The Dodgers are considering not starting Kershaw in their two-game series in Australia against the
By Monday, Mattingly was saying, "Everything's a possibility," and went as far to include Matt Magill among the candidates to start the first game of the regular season. Magill had a 6.51 earned-run average in six starts last season.
If Kershaw doesn't pitch in Australia,
Last week, Mattingly spoke at length about the importance of monitoring Kershaw's workload. Kershaw, who signed a seven-year, $215-million contract over the off-season, pitched 2591/3 innings last season, including the playoffs.
Matt Cain of the
Greinke has made clear he would prefer the Dodgers not open their season in Australia. Haren was more diplomatic, but not before indicating he shared Greinke's thoughts.
"Which answer do you want?" Haren said with a smile. "The politically correct answer? I think Stan [Kasten, Dodgers president] would probably want me to give the politically correct one."
Haren went on to say, "I think everyone understands why we're doing it, to build the brand."
Haren laughed and said he wouldn't be as direct as Greinke.
"I only have a one-year contract," Haren said.
"I understand that they're trying to make the game safer and I appreciate Major League Baseball's making an attempt to protect the guys who play my position," Ellis said.
Ellis also understands why the league would want to protect star players such as
But Ellis doesn't like the new rule. He thinks part of his value as a player comes from his willingness to sacrifice his body, something for which he will now be penalized. He also laments the disappearance of what he considers one of the most exciting plays in baseball.
"It takes away a game-changing play or a game-saving play," he said. "It's something we train for, we prepare for. It's a thing that can be the difference between a win or a loss. To me, it's similar to robbing a home run or turning a tough double play in the middle. Those are both plays that are at risk for injury and I don't see those plays being taken away."
As for the injury risks, Ellis said, "That's part of what we signed up for."