By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
Clayton Kershaw will stay at spring training camp with the Los Angeles Dodgers rather playing for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.
Kershaw previously said he was facing “challenges” getting cleared to play in the tournament. The three-time Cy Young Award winner will enter his 15th season with the Dodgers this year, and he is incredibly disappointed for Team USA fans that won’t get a chance to see him play in the World Baseball Classic for the first time in his dominant career.
“I’m not going to be able to play in the WBC. Super disappointing, we tried a lot of different things. All sides really tried to make it work,” Kershaw told the media at Spring Training,
Team USA pitching coach Andy Pettitte and manager Mark DeRosa will have to come up with another strategy for their pitching rotation, as both New York Yankees starter Nestor Cortes and now Clayton Kershaw are off the staff for Team USA. Cortes will miss the World Baseball Classic with a hamstring injury that he categorized as a “tweak” and hopes to be able to play when the Yankees open the season at home against the San Francisco Giants on March 30.
The nine-time all-star and World Series champion will look to get the Dodgers back to the postseason. Last year, Kershaw set the record for most strikeouts in the history of the Dodgers franchise, striking out Spencer Torkelson of the Detroit Tigers on April 30 to eclipse Don Sutton’s record of 2,696 strikeouts.
Kershaw made 22 starts in 2022, finishing with a 12-3 record and 2.28 ERA. During the offseason, Kershaw resigned with the Dodgers, getting a one year, $15 million contract with a $5 million signing bonus.
Kershaw’s current stats in his major league career make a good case for his election to the Hall of Fame, with a 197-87 record, 2.48 ERA, and 2,807 strikeouts. Kershaw could reach 3,000 strikeouts by the end of this year.