Clayton Kershaw‘s 2023 season is officially underway after he made his first start of the spring today. His results weren’t great, allowing five hits and two homers in three innings, but he did touch 93 mph on the stadium radar gun. Kershaw had originally committed to pitching for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, but withdrew due to insurance clearance issues. That threw off his normal pre-season schedule and led to the late spring training debut.
“It was good to get back out there again. Everything feels good physically, obviously got some stuff to work on but overall it’s a good first step,” Kershaw told SportsNet LA’s Kirsten Watson after the game.
Multiple young hitters had good days for the Dodgers. Miguel Vargas, who was playing in his second game since being cleared to swing, roped a double into the corner and scored a run. He also doubled yesterday, so he is now hitting .400 and slugging .800 in his first five real at-bats.
James Outman drove in the tying run with a single in the fifth inning. His clean swing continues to find success this spring, as he’s currently hitting .389 with a 1.145 OPS. Overall, Outman has driven in five runs in his 18 at-bats.
Catching prospect Hunter Feduccia had a two-hit, two-RBI day at the plate. He’s been impressive this spring, posting a 1.500 OPS in nine at-bats. Then, after entering the game defensively in the seventh inning, top prospect Diego Cartaya performed well. Cartaya went 1-2 at the plate and scored twice, including the winning run. He also added a defensive highlight when he cut down a runner attempting to steal second with a strong throw.
The biggest swing of the game came from Jorbit Vivas. In the eighth, Vivas gave the Dodgers the lead with a bases-loaded single that scored two. After a down year in 2022, Vivas has done well this spring, hitting .308 and playing good defense across the infield.
Lastly, after the Dodgers relinquished their lead in the top of the ninth, a rally led to a walk-off walk from Eddys Leonard to secure their victory. A pitch clock violation on Angels pitcher Kenyon Yovan gave ball three of the plate appearance to Leonard, increasing the awkwardness of the finish. Regardless, the Dodgers will take the win, which improves their Cactus League record to 7-3.