The 147 million dollar Mark Fidrych look-alike and former Cy Young award winner Birdman Zack Greinke returns to the mound tonight at Surprise Stadium for the Dodgers against Kansas City, in his continuing quest to build his arm strength to prepare for opening week. Greinke hasn’t pitched in a cactus league game since March 1st, when he suffered inflammation of the elbow. He had to miss a bullpen session and then a start because of it. He also missed a start because of the flu.
The Dodgers found out there was no structural, or ligament damage done to Greinke’s elbow once they viewed the results of his MRI the team had him take for precautionary measures. Finally after giving Greinke a platelet injection, he was ordered to rest, and then resume throwing. Greinke however is not your normal pitcher. From what I have read he heals very fast from injuries. This could explain why he has only been on the DL once in his career. (That was from his infamous Basketball injury couple of seasons ago). Greinke has only pitched in two games this spring and only five frames total. Greinke is also scheduled to pitch in the freeway series against the Angels this weekend. Greinke is tentatively scheduled to make his debut start on April 5th against the Pirates at Dodger Stadium.
Another round of cuts is sure to be on the horizon soon. Although we may have to wait until after the Dodger’s final split squad games on Thursday. I forgot to mention that the Dodgers will be playing an exhibition game against the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes at Rancho. Tommy Lasorda will be managing the game for the Dodgers. The other half of the team will be playing against the Angels in Anaheim for the first game of the Freeway series.
In other news, If you haven’t heard, Carl Crawford his hit first home run of the spring in last night’s 7-4 loss to the A’s. The home run was a solo shot, which preceded a two-run shot from Andre Ethier. You can check it out on our main page. It’s linked in the hub. he also played sven innings in the field, and was able to make a throw from the oufield to the cut-off man. Manager Don Mattingly was raving about his throws, even though it wasn’t that great. I don’t care much abour Crawford’s ability to thorw, as long as he is hitting and is comfortable playing in left field. His arm strength will return to full soon. His hitting is more important right now. Besides, how often is he going to need to throw anyway? (I know that’s a silly thing to say, but it is kind of true. After all he played four innings the other night, and never made a play.) The important thing is Crawford is healthy and hitting, and should be ready for opening day.
The Dodger’s starter Josh Beckett got hammered. Beckett served up seven runs through four frames. He gave up six hits, three walks, and whiffed one. Oakland starter A.J. Griffin didn’t fare much better, but was able to pitch well enough to win. Griffin whiffed eight and walked just one through 4.2 innings. He gave up two home runs, and allowed four runs.
Oakland hit some home runs too. Third baseman Jed Lowrie, and catcher Derek Norris each hit one. Seth Smith also had a two-run bloop single in the third inning. The Dodgers fell to 11-16-3 in Cactus League play.
Yasiel Puig went hitless, going 0 for 2. Apparently everyone was so shocked by this, that they stopped the game. No, of course I am joking, but it still was amazing to see the Cuban phenom actually make an out for once. His batting average this spring has now “plummeted” to .527.
Dodgers Lineup vs. Kansas CityCrawford LF Schumaker 2B Kemp CF Gonzalez 1B Ethier RF Cruz SS Hairston 3B A.Ellis C Greinke P
Zack Greinke vs. Wade Davis
As for today’s game, the Dodgers should see Adrian Gonzalez, and Juan Uribe return to the lineup respectively. Gonzo was hit by a pitch in the forearm the other night by Jake Peavy. His wrist and forearm were a bit swollen but otherwise he was ok. Uribe reportedly had a tight right hamstring. We should see both players return to the lineup tonight.
The pitching match-up tonight will pit Greinke against big right hander Wade Davis. The Dodgers will battle the Royals at Surprise Stadium at 5:10 PM pacific time tonight. The game should be broadcast on MLB.tv, or the MLB Network. Go Blue.