Josh Rawitch asked Ned Colletti this question that I propounded:
I understand that young players need to to mature and all that, but when you have a talent like Clayton Kershaw how can you hold him back? Two questions: (1) Do you think he’ll make the team out of Spring Training (possibly as a reliever to keep his innings down until later in the saeson); and (2) If he dosen’t make the team, when do you anticipate calling him up?
I think you have done an excellent job – Keep it up!
The Clayton Kershaw situation is one that we spent a lot of time considering this spring. Without question, he pitched very well the second half of Spring Training. In his case, we took a look at how many professional innings he had pitched. We researched other pitchers who were high school drafts like Clayton and how many innings they pitched professionally before they made their Major League debut. In the case of everyone we looked at, they had pitched anywhere between 75 and 200 more professional innings before they pitched in the big leagues. That was one consideration. Another consideration is that he pitched 122 innings last season and the normal progression would be for him to throw 155-165 innings this year. We didn’t want to put him in a position where he came to the big leagues early in the season and began accumulating innings at a pace that would find him at 150-160 Major League innings in mid-August (the stress of 150-160 Major League innings far exceeds the stress of 150-160 innings in the minor leagues).
So by starting him in the minor leagues we can continue to refine him (while he is on his way to be a very accomplished pitcher, he still has a couple things to iron out) and also monitor his innings. It is easier to monitor innings and shorten a start or two in the mnor leagues than it is in the Major Leagues. If he continues to progress, it won’t be long before he is with the big league club.
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