Opening Day | Clayton Kershaw G.O.A.T?

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

As of Opening Day there are already many interesting things that have happened. I’ll start by bringing up that Bryce Harper once again has hit a homerun on Opening Day. This is the 5th year in a row he has done this. It is remarkable and a total freak incident I’m sure but next year will pitchers just pitch around him out of spite? We’ll see. Benintendi hits a 3 run bomb for the Red Sox, Joc Pederson goes yard twice, Rougned Odor goes yard twice, Madison Bumgarner who is a pitcher goes yard twice! Cesar Hernandez in the first AB of the season for the Phillies takes the Reds deep, it was an eventful Opening Day around MLB.

One thing that was brought up that I seen last night watching highlights of the Dodgers/Padres game was Clayton Kershaw. I want to take the remainder of this post to talk about Kershaw and his dominance. The three time Cy Young winner is our current “once in a generation” talent. If anyone were to ask you what single pitcher would you want to build a team around, most folks would say #22 in dodger blue Clayton Kershaw.

Kershaw opened up against San Diego and went 7 innings of 2 run ball. Only 1 run was earned. He served up 8 strikeouts and led LA to a 15-3 victory as the season begins. Clayton Kershaw was a pitcher that I took for granted for all these years. Despite his constant dominance throughout the regular season I never seemed to be convinced he was the real deal. Boy was I wrong. Clayton Kershaw has become what some are already calling an all-time greatest! That’s almost absurd to me to say out loud until you really look into the stats behind the argument. Since doing so I’ve indeed changed my tune a bit and I am finally on the Kershaw-wagon.

Clayton in what is about the halfway mark of his career has maintained a career ERA 2.36 to this day and is closing in on 2000 career strikeouts. This guy has so much more career left to go it’s insane to consider that a lot of people regard Sandy Koufax as the greatest pitcher of all time. Kershaw is well on track to rival the stats. Numbers do not lie. Let’s have a look.

  |   WAR    W  |  L  | ERA | G   |  GS  |  SV    IP          |  K  |
Kershaw             54.4     127   60   2.36    266    264     NA   1767         1926
Koufax                49.0     165   87   2.76    397    314     9       2324.3      2396

Is that not insane to put into perspective? Let’s take into consideration that Koufax played in a much different era where rotations may have only had 3 or 4 starters and bullpens weren’t used in the same manner as they are today. Thinking of where Kershaw sits right now statistically he is about 2 good seasons away from over taking Koufax in strikeouts. Innings pitched may take a while longer but even if he just coasts the rest of his career as a decent pitcher he still will command respect. There is one thing that Koufax has that Kershaw still has not seen. A ring. Kershaw has an NL MVP award and plenty of pitching hardware but the ring eludes him.

So as we have tooted the horn of Kershaw you gotta wonder how much is a player being groomed for the greatest of all time putting in the bank? Well after doing a little research he is bringing home $33 Million dollars this season. The relevance of playing the Padres is interesting because Clayton Kershaw will make this season almost as much as the ENTIRE 25 man roster in San Diego. They make $34 Million. The highest paid on that roster is slugger Wil Myers making $4.5 Million, then Jared Weaver making $3 Million. Solarte is just under that as well. When you first hear that you may be like me and think that is overvaluing a player, a pitcher at that who is more prone to an arm injury. But you have to ask think about that question. That’s insane that he makes that kind of money… But is it really that crazy?

Share you thoughts. Will Kershaw finish his career as the greatest all around pitcher ever? I mean he may not come close to Nolan Ryan’s strikeout record but I have to give the man the respect he deserves from now on.


Unknown said...

Very well thought out post David. I am biased against being from CA and liking the cross freeway rivals The Angel's but I respect talent when I see it. Kershaw is an amazing regular season pitcher. The post season, although he was better late season, still continues to be his weak point.

Unknown said...

I think a lot of people feel this way about him. I am hopeful that his legacy is still growing and that the Dodgers still have plenty of post season left in their future. Kershaw just needs a few dominant post season performances.

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