Selected to the All-Star game on Sunday for the seventh time in his career, Clayton Kershaw has never started the game. That streak apparently will continue this season, as Kershaw plans to start against Kansas City on the Sunday before the midsummer classic.
“I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t,” Kershaw said.
The team adjusted its pitching schedule so Kershaw could start on Tuesday against Arizona. That sets him up to start in both the final game before the break and the first game after it. By pitching on Sunday, Kershaw would be ineligible to pitch in the All-Star game, which would open up a spot for one of his teammates.
Manager Dave Roberts suggested it was “ludicrous” for both Alex Wood and Justin Turner to be left off the National League roster. There is little the team can do for Turner, who is one of five contestants for the final fan vote. Wood could replace Kershaw on the roster.
Wood owns a resume that checks the boxes for both traditionalists and sabermetrics devotees. He is undefeated, the first Dodgers pitcher to begin a season with a 9-0 record since 1976. Among NL pitchers who have thrown at least 70 innings, he ranks first in earned-run average (1.83), second in batting average against (.178), tied for third with Kershaw in walks plus hits per inning (0.91) and first in fielding-independent ERA (2.11). Wood entered Sunday tied with former Dodger Zack Greinke for fourth in the NL in FanGraphs’ version of wins above replacement.
RYU TO UNDERGO TESTS FOR FOOT
Hyun-Jin Ryu will undergo a bone scan on his left foot Monday as the Dodgers evaluate his ability to pitch later in the week. Ryu was struck by a line drive against the Angels earlier this week, and an X-ray came back negative. The Dodgers are hoping to avoid a repeat of the fiasco with Andre Ethier in spring last year, when a fracture was missed by the initial tests.
“The foot is still bothering him,” Roberts said before Sunday’s game against the San Diego Padres.
Ryu will not pitch in the coming series against the Diamondbacks. After Kershaw starts Tuesday, Wood will pitch Wednesday and Rich Hill will start Thursday. The team has not determined a rotation for the weekend against Kansas City.
Brandon McCarthy could return by that series. McCarthy will pitch in a four-inning simulated game Monday at class-A Rancho Cucamonga. Though he is on the disabled list with a sore knee, McCarthy was shut down for 10 days after he lost the ability to throw strikes in an outing on June 25. The Dodgers are hopeful McCarthy can overcome the “yips” he dealt with in 2016. He’ll get an opportunity to face hitters on Monday.
“It’s about gathering information,” Roberts said . “We’ll make a decision [after that].”