Pitching Injuries Beginning to Pile Up in Dodgers Camp

After a relatively uneventful first month of camp, health-wise, all of a sudden there’s a variety of bumps and bruises hitting the pitching staff all at once. Going down the list…

** Zack Greinke‘s right elbow is giving him trouble.

This is obviously the biggest concern, and it might cause him to miss his scheduled start tomorrow against the Brewers. Ken Gurnick has more:

Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke is questionable for his scheduled start Monday because of continued elbow discomfort. Greinke missed a bullpen session nine days ago because of elbow stiffness, missed a start four days ago because of the flu, then threw an impressive bullpen session on Friday.

But the discomfort in the back of his elbow has persisted and — with seven other starters in the current rotation — club officials are considering holding him out for precautionary reasons. Doctors have ruled out serious injuries such as ligament damage. Greinke has told the club he’s dealt with similar elbow issues in the past that never kept him from missing a start.

For the moment, I think we’re all unsure what to make of this. Greinke’s always been a model of health, with his only trip to the disabled list for a physical problem coming as a result of his infamous basketball accident in 2011. The fact that his Friday bullpen session was “impressive” and that Greinke claims to have deal with this before seem to be encouraging, I suppose. At this point, it’s difficult to draw the line between an actual problem and the appropriate amount of spring caution, though it’s not great that the season starts in three weeks and Greinke’s pitched just twice.

** Chad Billingsley has a sore groin…

From the same Gurnick piece, Billingsley has a sore muscle on his right side, which is great if only in that we’re talking about Billingsley’s health in March and it’s not due to his ticking time bomb of an elbow. He’s expected to start on Wednesday (in a minor league game, since the Dodgers are off that day), and I don’t imagine this is anything all that serious.

92topps_javyguerra** ..and so does Javy Guerra.

The general thought is that this is why he pitched poorly in a minor league game against the Reds on Saturday. This is also not thought to be serious, but Guerra really, really can’t afford any missed time or poor performances, injury-related or not. As the days go on without any movement to resolve the starting pitching glut, it’s becoming more and more likely that the Dodgers will have to start the season with not one but two (at least) extra starters in the bullpen. If that’s the case, and considering that Brandon League, Kenley Jansen, Ronald Belisario, & J.P Howell are all but guaranteed to be there, that’s six bullpen spots spoken for already. For pitchers with options remaining like Guerra, Paco Rodriguez, & Shawn Tolleson, it might be even more difficult to win that last job than non-roster guys like Kevin Gregg, Mark Lowe, & Peter Moylan — even if they’re more deserving — because Ned Colletti might prefer to keep the optionable types on the farm rather than lose the NRIs to any opt-out ability.

** Matt Palmer doesn’t have such worries, because he’s going to miss 6-8 weeks due to knee surgery. 

Palmer apparently injured his left meniscus while simply walking, though Don Mattingly pointed out that if that was the case, it was likely to go on him at some point anyway. Palmer had no chance to make the team in the first place and looked awful in camp (despite a 3.60 ERA, because so many runs were unearned), so this doesn’t affect the big club that much. Where it might have an impact is in Albuquerque, where Palmer was expected to join Stephen Fife, Fabio Castro, and perhaps Matt Magill in the rotation. That was already an incredibly thin group, so it’ll be interesting to see how the Isotopes plan to staff that out until Palmer is ready in May.

383 comments
Kemps Shoe
Kemps Shoe

As I suspected "Mattingly said Greinke already has had an MRI that came back "clean." #Dodgers"

capnsparrow
capnsparrow

When a club signs the biggest contract ever for a pitcher you bet your backside that an unprecedented amount of apprehension will occur every time he so much as sneezes.  This aint no thang mang!

Kemps Shoe
Kemps Shoe

This was from the article on the Dodger site yesterday about Greinke "Doctors have ruled out serious injuries such as ligament damage."

Gilbert_Vengeance
Gilbert_Vengeance

So they had said Greinke could miss his next start. He will miss it. So logical thing to do would be send him to get re-examined. Why is this a bigger deal than it was a day or so ago?

Bluebloodla92
Bluebloodla92

I wonder who will fail more miserably, cozma or cruz? I mean 360 abs combined, cmon.......

Kemps Shoe
Kemps Shoe

#Dodgers sending Greinke to LA today so Dr Neal ElAttrache can examine sore elbow.

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

I am bummed I missed what looked like a great game.

Mike Petriello
Mike Petriello moderator

I'm doing an interesting thing for MLB the Show... will share with you guys shortly.

Disgruntled Goat
Disgruntled Goat moderator

@Kemps Shoe so this is not the first examination. wonder why he's going to LA then, obviously there is some cause for concern. 

i just hate to begin the season like this, sigh. when injuries are our biggest potential hurdle going into the season, having our big acquisition questionable is kind of a bummer.  

Gilbert_Vengeance
Gilbert_Vengeance

I just see people freaking out in twitter about it.. He said he's pitched through this kind of issue in the past I think they are being extra cautious but I wouldn't freak out just yet.

Dave! (but probably Justin Turner, maybe)
Dave! (but probably Justin Turner, maybe)

@Mike Petriello Looks like they're building on the success of last year's "Cubs Win" commercial, which was one of the best commercials of the year (Bartman on a hill overlooking Wrigley? GENIUS!). Cool idea, glad they're getting "community influencers" involved.

Gilbert_Vengeance
Gilbert_Vengeance

@DavePomerantz @Gilbert_Vengeance right I feel you but would it be devastating of he missed his first start of the season with Cappy being able to fill in meanwhile? We arnt even there yet. I feel this team is good enough to endure Greinke missing a sart or 2 to get right.

Mike Petriello
Mike Petriello moderator

@EephusBlue@Mike Petriello

We are in the process of creating a "2013 Dream Season" teaser video for top MLB teams like the Dodgers.This teaser will include footage from the game and show the triumphs that could be while avenging the tragedies of last year, all told in 60 seconds.

We would really love your input and insight as a Dodgers community influencer and know your feedback will help us tell the right story. We hope these teaser videos will energize fans around the country leading into the season and drive team pride through the roof!

Although our team has some ideas for a Dodgers dream season, your input would be very helpful.

Mike Petriello
Mike Petriello moderator

@EephusBlue thanks. I thought the same about the last question at first, but I'm sure they sent the same form out for every team, and not everyone is lucky enough to have Vin.

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

@Mike Petriello @EephusBlue This is really great! I think you hit all the main points. I like the last bit about the announcers. I want to just reply to their question "really? I mean really? U need to ask?"

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

@Mike Petriello @EephusBlue "Unique Mix of high-priced imports and homegrown talent come together to return a once-great franchise to glory."

love this

Mike Petriello
Mike Petriello moderator

@EephusBlue

MLB The Show Questionnaire

Synopsis

What would be the ideal story of the season in a sentence?

(Dodgers) Unique Mix of high-priced imports and homegrown talent come together to return a once-great franchise to glory.

Adversaries

What happens to the team rivals, and how is redemption gained?

(Dodgers) After beating the Giants on Opening Day, the Dodgers stay healthy and productive all season long, fighting off San Francisco & Arizona to win the west and the first round of the playoffs, setting up a showdown with Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals in the NLCS.

Heroes

Which players on the team are pivotal to success, and what do they do to carry the team?

(Dodgers) Matt Kemp stays healthy and is able to produce. Zack Greinke acclimates to his new team & contract to form baseball’s best 1-2 punch with Clayton Kershaw. Adrian Gonzalez overcomes a down 2012 season to return to his status as a top-five first baseman.

Surprises

Which new, young, or in-transition players might have an interesting role in the storyline this season?

(Dodgers) Kenley Jansen continues throwing heat and makes for a dominant bullpen. Luis Cruz proves his 2012 half-season wasn’t a total mirage and avoids turning back into a pumpkin. Chad Billingsley avoids elbow surgery to stay healthy all season.  

Nods

What are a few little things that only fans of the team might notice about the story?

(Dodgers) Nancy Bea Hefley playing the organ. A.J. Ellis & Kershaw (best friends off the field) high-fiving in the dugout. Tommy Lasorda in uniform. Adrian Gonzalez hitting homers in San Diego. Dodgers visiting Yankee Stadium for the first time in the regular season.

Heartache

What from last year still hurts any true fan of the team?

(Dodgers) Game #161 that knocked them out of the playoffs. Each and every time Don Mattingly called for a bunt. Kemp missing two months due to injury. Lineups filled with has-beens and never-weres in June. Juan Uribe.

Fears

What is the biggest worry for the team this year?

(Dodgers) Nagging injuries to Kemp & Kershaw from last year resurface and impede their production. Hanley Ramirez causes problems on and off the field. Carl Crawford never returns to his Tampa form. The San Francisco deal with the devil doesn’t expire just yet. Juan Uribe.

Announcers

Who is the voice of the team? Does he have any memorable moments or famous phrases?

(Dodgers) Every last thing Vin Scully says is dripping in gold. Best known for starting each game with, “It’s Tiiiiime For Dodger Baseball”.

Mike Petriello
Mike Petriello moderator

@EephusBlue

Fears

What is the biggest worry for the team this year?

(Dodgers) Nagging injuries to Kemp & Kershaw from last year resurface and impede their production. Hanley Ramirez causes problems on and off the field. Carl Crawford never returns to his Tampa form. The San Francisco deal with the devil doesn’t expire just yet. Juan Uribe.

Mike Petriello
Mike Petriello moderator

@EephusBlue@Mike Petrielloha. here's an example of my reply:


Heartache

What from last year still hurts any true fan of the team?

(Dodgers) Game #161 that knocked them out of the playoffs. Each and every time Don Mattingly called for a bunt. Kemp missing two months due to injury. Lineups filled with has-beens and never-weres in June. Juan Uribe."