Aug 4, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Zack Greinke (21) sits in the dugout after allowing 4 runs in the first inning of the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Is There "Creeping Concern" About Zack Greinke's Elbow?

It’s an off day for the Dodgers, and Ken Gurnick snuck this little ditty in while we were all still recouping from the series sweep against the Brewers and perhaps admiring Joc Pederson‘s 30th homerun.

Ned Colletti is reportedly looking to “make waiver deals for a reliever and power bat off the bench.”

The reliever part doesn’t surprise me. The power bat off the bench is a little surprising since the Dodgers’ bench actually seems fine to me right now with Scott Van Slyke, Justin Turner and Andre Ethier adding power and pinch-hitting production. Miguel Rojas and Drew Butera are there for their defense, and Carlos Triunfel is there… for now.

Even though the power bat off the bench part of the article is a bit of a head-scratcher, the real frightening part of the article comes later on:

“Nonetheless, already this month Colletti has shored up the suddenly vulnerable starting rotation with Roberto Hernandez and Kevin Correia, who have made three solid starts. Those were triggered by injuries to Josh Beckett and Hyun-Jin Ryu, as well as creeping concern over Zack Greinke‘s elbow.”

Hold up one second. Put on the brakes. There’s a concern over Greinke’s elbow?

This is the first inkling we have heard about any possible injury to the ace right-hander. It comes out of nowhere, on an off day none the less. Often times the Dodgers sneak these newsworthy tidbits inside a seemingly routine article such as this waiver wire trade report. Every year Colletti goes for a deal or two off the waiver wire, but not every year do we learn that our prized ace pitcher may be facing an injury down the stretch.

It’s true that Zack Greinke has been less sharp during his last three starts:

August 4 vs. Angels- Loss- 5 runs (3 earned) off 6 hits with 5 strikeouts and 0 walks on 95 pitches through 7

innings

August 9 vs. Milwaukee- Loss- 4 runs on 8 hits with 6 strikeouts and 1 walk on 83 pitches through 6 innings

August 15 vs. Milwaukee- No-decision- 0 runs on 2 hits with 6 strikeouts and 5 walks on 99 pitches through 5 innings

Without a clear cut pattern, Greinke’s last start was the most concerning with the high amount of walks in just 5 innings of work. He

Aug 15, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Zack Greinke (21) in the first inning of the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Aug 15, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Zack Greinke (21) in the first inning of the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

has been battling his control, and his pitch count seems to be getting higher earlier in the games of late. He struck out 10 and 13 batters in the two starts prior to the three aforementioned, so his strikeouts have also decreased of late.

Has Greinke been pitching with some sort of undisclosed injury? If so, why are the Dodgers allowing him to do so?

With the revelation that Josh Beckett tore an adductor muscle while trying to pitch through his hip injury, it frightens me that Greinke will do further damage if he is in fact injured. With September call-ups right around the corner, if he is truly injured and Gurnick’s article speaks the truth, then please for the love of everything baseball, shut him down!

Losing Greinke at the end of this season would hurt immensely especially with the fall of pitchers Josh Beckett, Paul Maholm, Stephen Fife, Chad Billingsley and Chris Withrow to injuries. Yet losing Greinke to any sort of surgical disability caused by subsequent injury due to pitching through pain would put the team into a rough spot for possibly years to come.

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