The Los Angeles Dodgers seem set to trot out a new Opening Day starter for the first time in nearly a decade, as manager Dave Roberts admitted it's unlikely that Clayton Kershaw gets the nod, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com.
Roberts didn't rule out Kershaw being ready for the first week of the season, Gurnick notes. The seven-time All-Star is slated to throw another bullpen session Monday.
Kershaw, 30, has been dealing with shoulder soreness throughout camp and threw a 31-pitch bullpen session Thursday, but he's abstained from throwing curveballs and is yet to appear in a spring training game.
The Dodgers have handed the three-time Cy Young winner eight consecutive Opening Day assignments - the longest in the franchise's storied history. A ninth would have brought Kershaw level with Bob Gibson and Randy Johnson on the all-time list. Jack Morris holds the MLB record with 14 straight.
Among starters in the running to take the Opening Day gig when the Dodgers face the Arizona Diamondbacks on March 28, Roberts said 39-year-old left-hander Rich Hill is "in the mix." Over 132 2/3 innings last year, the veteran southpaw posted a 3.66 ERA and 3.97 FIP.