at 20 years of age! I have heard every reason in the world why the Dodgers shouldn’t call up Kershaw at age 20 “He’ll be another Edwin Jackson.” Koufax was 19 when he canme to the majors. Clayton Kershaw is a year older. Sandy Koufax NEVER pitched a game in the minors. Clayton Kershaw has spent parts of 3 seasons in thew minor leagues. Sandy Koufax pitched from a mound that was much taller and could add 2-3 MPH to a pitchers’ speed, plus give the hitter a more difficult angle.
In Clayton Kershaw’s 1st season in the minors, at age 18, he struck out 54 batters in 37 innings while walking only 5. One poster said that Koufax was a strikeout pitcher, Kershaw is not? I guess he never saw Kershaw blow away Lowell, Drew and Casey of the Red Sox or strike out 5 out of 6 batters in one of the the Spring games. To jump off the Kershaw Bandwagon after one bad start is absurd! Will Kershaw be the strikeout pitcher Koufax was? I dobut it because of the height of the pitchers mound. Koufax pitched in an era when the mound was 15 inches in height, but there were accusations that the mound at Dodger Stadium was as high as 18 inches. Today it is 10 inches! Clayton Kershaw will always strike out a lot of batters, but give him an 18 mound and he’d be electrifying!
Last year at AA Jacksonville Kershaw struckout 134 batters in 97 innings while walking 50. That’s too many walks, certainly, but at age 22 Sandy Koufax struck out 131 batters in 158 innings while walking 105! Now, I know that we are comparing minor league stats to major league stats, but that is all we have. We also have people who have seen both pitchers pitch and the similarity of their motions is uncanny. I for one, get flashbacks of Koufax everytime Clayton is on the mound.
Sandy Koufax always walked a lot of batters. Later in his career, his walks per inning pitched dropped, but he still walked a lot of batters. I have said it before and I’ll say it again: Clayton will struggle at times. It may appear that he is taking one step forward and two steps back, but his character and determination will carry the day. Today, we have much more scientific and high-tech aspects to coaching and training and Clayton is exposed to more help than Koufax ever was, including Sandy Koufax himself. Know for a fact that Sandy is just a speed dial away for Clayton!
Clayton Kershaw will be our Ace, sooner than later, but don’t expect him to be Sandy Koufax out of the gate, because evene Sandy Koufax wasn’t sandy Koufax until age 26!
- Andy LaRoche started at 2B last night for the 51′s and was 1-4 as they were shutout
- Jason Schmidt pitched 3-2/3 innings last night and allowed 2 runs on 4 hits while walking 3 and striking out 3. Michael Schwartz of MLB.com had this to say:
Jason Schmidt felt “pretty good” after throwing 65 pitches in 3 2/3 innings Saturday in his fourth rehab outing with Class A Inland Empire. Schmidt increased his workload from 45 pitches in a rehab start on Monday, this time allowing four hits and two runs while striking out three and walking three. Of his 65 pitches, 37 went for strikes.
“Every outing I feel a lot smoother mechanically,” said Schmidt, in his 11th month of recovery from major right shoulder surgery. “I think I’m still off quite a bit. But it’s just still a work in progress. I bounced back quicker this last time, so that’s a good sign.”
For the second straight start Schmidt’s fastball topped off at 91 mph, hitting that mark 12 times on Saturday.
“It’s fine, I mean obviously I’d like to be a little further along in that, but it is what it is,” Schmidt said. “It’s been a long time since I’ve been out there and let the ball go, so I’ve got to build on that.”
Inland Empire pitching coach Charlie Hough saw Schmidt’s velocity as a positive because he also hit 90 about 14 or 15 times, maintaining that velocity throughout the game. In his previous outing he did not hit this mark so frequently, often throwing his fastball at 88.
- Jon Broxton has blown 4 games for us! What are we going to do about it?