Clayton Kershaw will not start for Dodgers on Opening Day for the first time in nearly a decade

Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw will not start for the team on Opening Day, manager Dave Roberts announced on Monday. Kershaw had been battling shoulder discomfort during spring training. He was thought to have made progress in recent weeks despite having not yet pitched in a spring game, but ultimately Kershaw was unable to get back to 100 percent in time to start on Opening Day.

Kershaw, 30, has been the Dodgers' Opening Day starter every season since 2011. His eight Opening Day starts are the most in franchise history The 2010 season, when Vicente Padilla started the opener for L.A., was the last time someone other than Kershaw threw the first pitch of the Dodgers' regular season.

In 2018, Kershaw battled through back and biceps trouble to make 26 starts, posting a 2.73 ERA and 155 strikeouts against just 29 walks in 161 1/3 innings. The left-hander signed a $93 million contract extension to remain with the Dodgers through 2021 after the World Series.

The Dodgers have plenty of rotation depth including Rich Hill, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Kenta Maeda. It's likely that Ross Stripling or Julio Urias will jump to the No. 5 starter spot when Kerhsaw likely starts the year on the injured list. Plus, the team still has their top two pitching prospects, Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin, waiting in the wings.

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