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Clayton Kershaw – The Los Angeles Dodgers have reclaimed their title as the greatest club in baseball, and they will go into October as the favorites to win the World Series. They enter Monday with a record of 106-47 and a remarkable run differential of plus322 against their opponents. They are the first team in the history of baseball to win at least 106 games in each of three straight full seasons, and it is expected that they will end with the highest run differential in the league since the 1939 Yankees (plus-411).
Clayton Kershaw, a left-handed pitcher for the 2022 Dodgers, has been a key member of the team despite making two visits to the disabled list. He has pitched 115 and a third innings while posting a 2.42 earned run average and a 0.95 walk-to-hit ratio. Kershaw has had one of his most productive seasons ever in terms of his strikeout rate, despite the fact that his days of being a workhorse capable of pitching 200 innings are behind him. In May, he was placed on the disabled list due to issues with his hip, and in August, he was unable to play due to back pain.
The 34-year-old Kershaw, who was coming off an elbow ailment that ended the previous season and raised worries that he might need Tommy John surgery, was noncommittal about playing in 2022 during the summer that just ended. That is no longer the situation. Kershaw gave a recent interview to the Los Angeles Times in which he said that he is considering continuing his career in 2023, although he did not state this fact firmly.
“If I had to choose between playing and not playing, I’d probably go with playing. I reserve the right to alter my opinion at any time; nevertheless, as of right now, I believe that I have at least one more attempt “Kershaw was quoted as saying this to the Los Angeles Times. “… At the end of the day, throwing pitches is hard on my back. That cannot be avoided under any circumstances. I am confident in my ability to handle it, and there may come a point in the future when I will be able to do it successfully for the equivalent of eight months out of the year. I’m not ready to give up hope just yet.”
Throughout his career, Kershaw has struggled with issues related to his lower back. In 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and again in 2022, he was placed on the injured list as a result of it. Even though Kershaw has never had surgery, the total amount of time he has spent on the disabled list amounts to 172 days, which is almost a whole 186-day season. In most cases, back injuries do not get better; therapy and rest are the only things that can be done to manage them during the season.
At this stage in his career, Kershaw is most suited to be a very high-end starter who can throw 120-140 innings. It would be wonderful if he gave his squad more than that, but it seems to be a realistic expectation going into a season at this point. Since 2019, Kershaw has not pitched more than 125 innings in the regular season, and since 2015, he has not thrown more than 180 innings in the regular season.
Even though it is reasonable to assume that Clayton Kershaw will rejoin the Los Angeles Dodgers following the conclusion of the current season, particularly in light of the fact that Walker Buehler will be out of action until 2023 as a result of the second Tommy John surgery of his career, the Texas Rangers remain a viable option. Kershaw’s primary residence is still in the Dallas metropolitan area, and the Rangers are anticipated to make significant investments in pitching this summer. A one-year deal with Kershaw would be an excellent addition to the team.
The only issue that remains is how much longer Kershaw wants to continue pursuing World Series titles while also managing his back pain. Either way, Kershaw’s legacy is safe; he is a lock to be inducted into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot. He was successful in his bid to capture a ring in 2020, and the Dodgers are among the favorites to win another championship in 2022. There is no basis for supposing that this won’t be the case once again in the year 2023.
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