Terry Collins says Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw would have been National League starter if healthy

Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw, who is on the disabled list, watches batting practice before the All-Star home run derby in San Diego.
(Jae Hong / Associated Press)

This would have been the year Clayton Kershaw finally started the All-Star game.

For the third consecutive summer, the Dodgers ace arrives at the All-Star break with the lowest earned-run average in the major leagues. New York Mets Manager Terry Collins, the manager of the National League team, said Monday that he would have selected Kershaw to start had he been healthy.

“He deserved it,” Collins told The Times.

Collins, who worked with Kershaw when he ran the Dodgers’ minor league system, said he stopped to chat with Kershaw in May, when the Dodgers played the Mets.


“How many All-Star games have you started?” Collins said.

“None,” Kershaw said.

“‘You won three Cy Youngs and you haven’t started a stinking All-Star game?” Collins said.

“No,” Kershaw said.

Collins said he walked away with this thought in his head: “We’re going to change that.”

In 2013, with the All-Star game at the Mets’ Citi Field, NL Manager Bruce Bochy picked Mets rookie Matt Harvey to start rather than Kershaw. In 2014, NL Manager Mike Matheny picked the ace of his St. Louis Cardinals team, Adam Wainwright.

Kershaw, 11-2 with a 1.79 earned-run average, has not pitched since June 26 because of what the Dodgers call a mildly herniated disk in his back. He threw a bullpen session Sunday, and the Dodgers are hopeful he can return in late July or early August.

Collins selected Johnny Cueto (13-1, 2.47) of the San Francisco Giants as the NL starter. The AL starter: Chris Sale (14-3, 3.38) of the Chicago White Sox.

Thanks, Tony

Sale offered a touching tribute to Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, forever the face of the San Diego Padres. Sale said he stopped using chewing tobacco the day Gwynn died of salivary gland cancer two years ago.

“He was a larger-than-life person,” Sale said. “He was an inspiration for many, many people for a lot of different reasons. But I quit that day, and I haven’t touched it since.

“In a sense, I owe him a huge thank you, for not only myself but for my family. Hopefully, I can maybe sway somebody in the right direction as well like he did for me.”

Bruce to Dodgers?


The Dodgers’ left fielders are batting .212, the worst of any team in the NL. Jay Bruce has 18 home runs, more than anyone on the Dodgers. So of course Bruce would fit with the Dodgers.

Bruce, a human trade rumor for two years running, is representing the Cincinnati Reds in the All-Star game. But the Reds nearly traded him to the Mets last summer and nearly traded him to the Toronto Blue Jays last winter, and Bruce fully expects the rebuilding Reds to consider trading him this month.

“The Reds would be doing themselves a disservice if they didn’t try and better the organization by trading me,” he said. “I’m not saying that’s going to happen.”

Bruce, 29, would be owed about $4 million for the final two months of this season. His contract includes a $13-million club option for next season.

“If I do get moved, I just want a chance to play deep in October,” he said. “I would assume that any team that would try to make a move for me would feel like they’re in that position.”

He would not say what teams might intrigue him but did say he “absolutely” thought the Dodgers could play deep into October. The Dodgers trail the Giants by 6 1/2 games in the National League West.


“Six or seven games in July could mean nothing.” Bruce said. “It could mean a lot. I imagine it’s going to go down to a lot later in the season.”