Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Times
By: Ross Sutton
The other day, I was listening to MLB Network radio while I was driving, and they were discussing which five starting pitchers they would choose to pitch for their team for the rest of the season. The names that came up in this conversation were Max Scherzer, Chris Sale, Corey Kluber, Justin Verlander, Luis Severino, and Gerrit Cole. As I heard these names being discussed, I thought to myself, “What about Kershaw?” and “Did they forget about Kershaw?”. Then, as I thought more about it, I realized that I too would rather have any of those six pitchers pitch for my team for the remainder of this season.
After realizing that I agree with the guys on the radio, I thought more about why I would rather have these guys over Kershaw, and I came to the conclusion that I think Kershaw is overrated by most baseball fans. Kershaw is obviously dominant during the regular season, but he simply cannot stay healthy and has not been nearly as good in the playoffs as he has been in the regular season. Kershaw is already back on the DL due to a back injury after already missing time this year with a bicep injury. This is not the first time Kershaw has missed time due to a back injury either, as he missed a good deal of time last year due to a back issue. Due to all the facts, I believe it is justifiable to call Kershaw an injury-prone player. He simply has not shown the ability to stay healthy over the last few years. Not only is Kershaw seemingly never healthy, but he has not been able to pitch well in the playoffs. To this point in his career, Kershaw has a 4.32 ERA in the playoffs which is almost twice as high as his career regular season ERA (2.37). You can’t argue that it is a small sample size either, as Kershaw has pitched 122 innings in the postseason during his career. Kershaw has definitely had every opportunity to right the ship, but has not done so. Therefore, I think it is time for people to cool the hype over Kershaw and his greatness, because it is quite clear to me that he is not all that.
Stats courtesy of baseball-reference.com
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