Clayton Kershaw is one of the best Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitchers ever. The future Hall of Famer has made his share of Opening Day starts. However, Kershaw’s chances of earning the nod in 2023 are in question, which is a similar scenario to 2022 when Walker Buehler was named LA’s Opening Day starter. Julio Urias is his primary competition this year, and Kershaw actually believes Urias “deserves” the opportunity, per Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times.
“I think it should be whoever pitched the best the year before, and he (Urias) did that,” Kershaw said of Urias potentially being named the Dodgers’ 2023 Opening day starter. “So he deserves it.”
Kershaw echoed a similar sentiment when Buehler drew the outing in 2022. He doesn’t let ego get in the way and wants what is best for the team. It is one of the reasons why Kershaw is such a respected presence in the Dodgers’ clubhouse. Nobody would blame Kershaw if he pleaded to make the start, given his numerous accolades and legendary reputation. However, Kershaw has always implemented a team-first mindset.
Regardless of who earns the Dodgers’ Opening Day start, there’s no question that Los Angeles features dynamic duo atop their starting rotation with Urias and Kershaw. The two left-handers are both fresh off strong 2022 campaigns, but Urias was an NL Cy Young finalist.
It should be noted that Kershaw has been limited over the past few years due to injury concerns. He’s hoping to remain healthy throughout the 2023 season. If he can make 25-30 starts in 2023, the Dodgers will certainly benefit as they try to fend off the emerging San Diego Padres in the competitive National League West.