PHOENIX -- On the final day of the 2010 season, incoming manager Don Mattingly told Clayton Kershaw he would be the 2011 Opening Day starter for the Dodgers.
Did Mattingly tell Kershaw the same thing Wednesday for the 2012 Opening Day assignment?
"He probably assumes it now," Mattingly said of his Cy Young candidate and staff ace. "It seemed right last year."
It will be Kershaw's second Opening Day assignment. Oddly, that will give him one more than the lefty he's often compared to, three-time Cy Young winner Sandy Koufax. Since 1945, the most Opening Day starts for a Dodgers pitcher is seven by Don Drysdale and Don Sutton, and Fernando Valenzuela had six.