Zack Greinke Scratched With Elbow Soreness

Dodgers
Brewers
CF
Schumaker
RF
Aoki
2B
M.Ellis
SS
Segura
RF
Ethier
CF
Gomez
1B
Hairston
2B
Weeks
C
A.Ellis
1B
Gonzalez
3B
Uribe
LF
Davis
LF
Puig
C
Lalli
SS
Gordon
3B
Crosby
P
Ryu
P
Fiers

See that lineup over to the right, the group that the Dodgers are taking to Maryvale to face the Brewers today? For about three minutes after it was announced, it was Zack Greinke and not Hyun-Jin Ryu taking the hill, and we all breathed a sigh of relief that his right elbow discomfort might not be that worrisome at all.

And then… uh-oh. Minutes later, Greinke was scratched and is heading back to Los Angeles to be examined by team doctor Neal ElAttrache. Bill Shaikin reports that Greinke “experienced irritation” while throwing on Sunday, and the official Dodger Twitter handle tried to spin it as best as they could, saying “he does not feel 100% comfortable with his elbow, so out of abundance of caution he will undergo a precautionary exam.” Shaikin adds that Greinke has already had an MRI that “came back clean”.

It’s still not even St. Patrick’s Day, so I’m sure “an abundance of caution” is certainly part of it; after all, there’s no sense in risking injury so he can make a spring training start. Still, Greinke is scheduled to make his regular season debut three weeks from tomorrow against San Francisco, and considering he’s pitched just twice in spring, that’s not exactly a ton of time to stretch him out for that.

While it’s probably premature to think of right now — obviously, the concern is making sure this isn’t something more serious, though it was reported earlier that he did not have any ligament damage — it’s easy to see that this might be one avenue to alleviate the starting pitching glut for a short time. After all, the Dodgers have enough off days in the schedule that they barely even need five starters for the first half of April, so by placing Greinke on the disabled list to start, that would allow him more time to prepare while hardly opening up a hole that they couldn’t fill.

It’s too soon for that, though. Right now, we just need to hear that this isn’t something more serious. In the meantime, this is an opportunity for Ryu to prove himself again, since the Brewers have starters Norichika Aoki, Carlos Gomez, & Rickie Weeks in their lineup. Like yesterday, the game is only being broadcast by the other team, so it’s available via MLB.tv.

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Confusing report from Joel Sherman here:

It’s odd to me that if Scott Rolen really wanted to play and had a contract on the table from Cincinnati, he would have turned it down. I also can’t imagine that those deals were not guaranteed contracts, as Sherman indicates, unless he’s saying that $4m is not enough to meet Rolen’s asking price — in which case, he’s crazy.

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Update: so long, guys.

 

Dodgers Looking at Scott Rolen as Corner Infield Backup Option

via Flickr

via Flickr

A few days ago, I heard about Dodger interest in Scott Rolen as a potential 3B/1B backup type, and while I was working to confirm that for a post tonight, Buster Olney had to go and put it out there, so there it is. Going a bit further, I believe Rolen is likely to make a decision in the next 24-48 hours.

Rolen, 38 in April and a borderline Hall of Famer, has been with the Reds for the last four years and reportedly had not yet decided if he wanted to play in 2013 or not. If he does, it’s not likely to be with Cincinnati, who has Todd Frazier ready to step in at third and also signed Jack Hannahan to a two-year deal this winter.

The immediate reaction from fans to this news has been… well, less than positive, and it’s easy to see why. He’s missed a ton of time over the last two years with left shoulder woes — yes, that’s the same shoulder that he originally hurt way back in 2005 when he tried to run over Hee-Seop Choi and lost — and he’s been mostly ineffective when he’s played, hitting only .244/.301/.397 in 599 plate appearances. That said, he did hit a respectable .277/.354/.441 in 229 plate appearances from June on last year after recovering from injury, so that’s at least encouraging. He’s also played exactly zero major league innings at first base in a career that spans back to 1996 — I mean, Ozzie Smith played in Rolen’s major league debut — but that’s a need that seems somewhat small, and it doesn’t seem unrealistic for Rolen to make that work on a limited basis.

So do the Dodgers need yet another injury-prone veteran who was great five years ago? If you want to argue they don’t, I won’t push back on that too hard, given that they have plenty of guys like that around already. Still, it was only two years ago that he was healthy and hitting .285/.358/.497, and to be quite honest, the other options are just non-existent. Who else, really, is out there to bring in? As I’ve said, you just cannot go into the season with only Luis Cruz & Hanley Ramirez on the left side, and this would not only add another option to the bench, it’d give some kind of alternative if Cruz proves last year was a mirage.

Again, Rolen may yet choose to retire, and if not he may not want to come to Los Angeles and leave his family in Indiana. (Though he does hail from Evansville, just like Don Mattingly.) I think there’s a real chance this could happen, but for now I’ll file it under “acceptable if it does just because there’s really nowhere else to turn.” If anything, it’d seem to expedite the departure of Juan Uribe out of town, so maybe that’s a win in itself.