first_img Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco “Obviously, the timing couldn’t have been worse, working all that time to try and stay ready and I really felt so good going into the season,” he said. “It was pretty defeating, honestly, just, ‘How is this happening right now?’ But I kind of started moving forward yesterday and today made a lot of progress.“It’s getting better pretty quick and I’m optimistic that it shouldn’t be much longer than my original stint on the IL.”Kershaw will be eligible to return during the Dodgers’ series in Arizona next weekend. Until then, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said right-hander Dustin May is “likely” to replace the veteran in the starting rotation. May became the first Dodgers rookie pitcher to start the season opener since Fernando Valenzuela in 1981 when he went 4 1/3 innings against the San Francisco Giants on Thursday.“Dustin threw the baseball really well last night,” Roberts said. “So going forward, we’re talking about Houston (for his next start). We just don’t know right now. … We haven’t still penciled in Dustin for that start in Houston, but it’s certainly a good chance.”For Kershaw, the season-opening trip to the injured list recalled his back problems from 2016 through 2018 when he went on the IL each year, first with a herniated disc and later with related problems in his lower back. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start “I don’t really remember each specific time other than when I really hurt it in 2016. That’s the only (time) that I truly remember being in some serious, serious pain,” Kershaw said. “I feel like every other one has been — obviously there’s been some things connected as far as why it’s happening. But back pain is one of those things that you kind of deal with and you do the best you can and sometimes things crop up.“I feel like I’ve been fortunate for the last couple years and (until) for whatever reason on Tuesday.”PAYING BETTSThe 12-year, $365 million contract extension signed by Mookie Betts this week could have him in the Dodgers’ lineup at age 39 — and cashing checks from the team when he is 52 years old.According to details of the contract reported by The Associated Press, $115 million of Betts’ contract is deferred. A record $65 million signing bonus will be paid out in installments over 15 years beginning in 2021.Betts will receive annual salaries of $17.5 million in 2021 and 2022, rising to $20 million in 2023, $25 million in 2024-2027, $30 million from 2028-30 then dropping to $27.5 million in 2031 and 2032, the final year of the contract.The deferred money will be payable each July 1 — known as Bobby Bonilla Day to followers of baseball finances — from 2033 through 2044, rising from $8 million annually in the first five years to $10 million the next two and $11 million annually 2040-2044.Betts’ contract does not include a no-trade clause. If he is traded by the Dodgers, however, the deferrals are eliminated and the $115 million would be paid over the remainder of the contract.Related Articlescenter_img SEAT UPGRADESPlayers this season are expected to socially distance as much as possible. For players not in the starting lineup or likely to get in the game — the rest of the starting rotation or injured players, for example — that means staying out of the dugout.There are covered seating areas down the line from each dugout at Dodger Stadium, set up as a place for those players and some staff to watch the game, socially distanced from their teammates. According to Alex Wood, though, he and the rest of the Dodgers’ starting pitchers were a little restless during Thursday’s opener.“It was hard to figure out where to go, what to do during the game for me, Clayton, Julio (Urias) and Ross (Stripling),” Wood said. “We bounced around because I don’t think we’re supposed to be in the dugout. That was a new adventure, for sure.“We started in left field, kind of above the bullpen. Then we made our way into the weight room. We were in the clubhouse for a little then we made our way back out to the ‘Home Run Seats.’ We kind of bounced around. It was kind of hard to sit in one spot the whole time. It’s hard to beat those ‘Home Run Seats.’ That’s probably where I’ll find myself a lot of the time.”The “Home Run Seats” are new this year, part of the $100 million renovation to the stadium’s outfield pavilions. They are located immediately behind the walls in right and left field. LOS ANGELES — Whatever Clayton Kershaw did to his back in the weight room Tuesday, forcing him out of his scheduled Opening Night start, he is optimistic it is not “super serious” and he has a “clean” MRI to back him up on that.“When you get a clean MRI, you’re thankful for that obviously, that there’s nothing structurally wrong,” Kershaw said Friday. “So really after that, to me, you just try to get going. You try to get going, make things loosen up, try to start rehabbing, try moving around. So that’s what I’ve been doing“There’s no timeline (for his return), but I feel pretty optimistic. With everything that it could have been, I feel somewhat thankful that it’s not super serious.”Kershaw threw in the outfield briefly during Friday’s pregame workout, stretching out to 90 feet and reporting that he “felt good” doing it. How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season last_img

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