Mar 12, 2013; Goodyear, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Ted Lilly (29) pitches during the sixth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Goodyear Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Elbows, Groins, and Flu... Oh My!

A scary moment occurred during the Dodger game versus San Diego Friday afternoon when reliever Shawn Tolleson was hit on his pitching elbow by a line drive. Padres pitcher Anthony Bass hit a line drive right off the side of Tolleson’s elbow. Dodger head athletic trainer Sue Falsone checked Tolleson, and thankfully Tolleson wasn’t seriously injured, but sustained a bruise. The incident makes me feel uneasy about the current state of some of the Dodgers when we are just days away from opening the 2013 season.

Tolleson should be fine, but there are quite a few Dodgers who are questionable for Opening Day. Carl Crawford likely won’t be ready as he is still working to overcome his setback in his rehab after Tommy John Surgery. Crawford was shut down for about two weeks after having nerve irritation. He began to take some at-bats and play catch this past Thursday.

Ted Lilly had to miss practice on Thursday because he is still sick with the flu. Lilly also missed a bullpen session so his scheduled start in one of the split-squad games on Sunday is questionable. Lilly likely will not be ready to start for the Dodgers by Opening Day even if he was needed in the rotation. He has only pitched 5 1/3 innings so far this Spring. In comparison, Clayton Kershaw has pitched 13 innings, Josh Beckett has pitched 13 1/3 innings, and Chad Billingsley has pitched 12 2/3 innings. The 37-year old could still be very valuable out of the bullpen for the Dodgers as a long-relief left-hander.

 

Chad Billingsley’s elbow is holding up well so far. Photo: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Chad Billingsley’s groin is on the mend, and he pitched a strong five innings in a simulated game on Wednesday. Other than the minor right groin strain, Billingsley is well on his way to having a normal Spring Training despite suffering a partially torn elbow ligament last year. The human body is amazing. Like I have said before, there’s no reason to undergo major surgery before trying other viable options. Billingsley could very well slot in the No. 2 or No. 3 spot in the rotation if Zack Greinke is not able to pitch come April 1st.

Zack Greinke’s elbow issues are the most concerning problem I see for the Dodgers right now. It is looking like there

Zack Greinke may end up on the DL to start the season. Photo: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

is a possibility that the Dodgers’ $147 million man could wind up on the disabled list to start the year. Even though the Dodgers have said that Greinke does not have a serious injury, I’m still very suspicious and uneasy. Greinke played catch with Stan Conte on Friday, and his session of 63 throws seemed to go well according to the Dodgers reports. He will only be able to play catch for the next several days before he can transition to throwing off a mound. This means that Greinke will only get two more starting opportunities this Spring. Greinke has only pitched in 5 innings this Spring.

Justin Sellers was scratched from the Dodger lineup on Friday night after spraining his ankle during workouts on Thursday.

Javy Guerra also felt a groin strain last Sunday, and he was scheduled to throw a bullpen session yesterday.

How do you think the Dodger rotation will end up now that Greinke likely will not have worked up enough innings to be ready?

Tags: Los Angeles Dodgers Shawn Tolleson Spring Training Zack Greinke

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