Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw was eager to pitch for Team USA in the 2023 World Baseball Classic.
On Friday, however, he announced to the media that he won’t be participating in the tournament.
Clayton Kershaw announced that he will not be able to play in the World Baseball Classic
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) February 17, 2023
It’s certainly a bummer for a team that looks a tad thin of star power at the pitching level.
First, they lost Nestor Cortes Jr. to a hamstring strain and now Kershaw is also backing down.
He didn’t explicitly say why, but it may have something to do with insurance issues.
In this article by Jack Harris of the LA Times, he explained that getting Kershaw insured could have represented a hurdle.
“The most common hold-up is the need to secure insurance coverage for players — particularly those with a history of injuries such as Kershaw, who last season missed two months because of back problems and in 2021 nearly needed Tommy John surgery for an elbow ailment.”
The pitcher did say he is “super disappointed” and that it “didn’t work out for a number of reasons.”
The Dodgers gave Kershaw permission to participate in the tournament, but given his recent elbow and back issues and his age (34), he represented a difficult case for insurance.
Kershaw had a dominant 2022 with a 2.28 ERA in 126.1 frames with the Dodgers.
He missed time with injury, but was his usual stellar self whenever he took the mound.
The Dodgers gave him a one-year, $20 million dollar deal in the offseason and he will lead their rotation once again, as it has happened for the last 15 years.
Team USA’s rotation still has Adam Wainwright, Miles Mikolas, Merrill Kelly, Kyle Freeland, Lance Lynn and Brady Singer.
None of them are as good as Kershaw, though.NEXT: Mookie Betts Reveals A Key Offseason Change