(USA Today)That loud noise you heard resonating from the Los Angeles and Phoenix areas respectively was a resounding sigh of relief from Dodgers fans, coaches and their front office after Zack Greinke’s highly successful return to the mound on Wednesday.
The 29-year-old right-hander, who signed a six-year, $147 million contract during the offseason, had a platelet-rich plasma injection in his right elbow back on March 11 after being diagnosed with inflammation. That put his status for his first scheduled regular season start in serious doubt, but Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times says he's on a much better track now after reporting no ill-effects in his outing against White Sox minor league hitters.
Encouraged by how his elbow felt Wednesday in his first game in nearly three weeks, Zack Greinke said he thought he could be ready to pitch at the start of the regular season.
“I hope so,” Greinke said. “My arm felt really good today. It felt strong.”
Greinke faced Chicago White Sox minor league players for four innings, throwing 43 pitches and facing one batter more than the minimum. He gave up a single, hit a batter and induced a double play.
“I wasn’t perfect,” he said. “You saw me upset with several pitches. But first outing in two weeks, that’s kind of expected.”
The Dodgers open against the defending champion San Francisco Giants on April 1 with Clayton Kershaw already set to match up against Matt Cain. Hernandez speculates the Dodgers may actually line up the rotation so Greinke opens their following series against the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 5. But that's all dependent on how the elbow holds up over the next two weeks.Read More »from Spring Headlines: Zack Greinke excellent in return outing; Chone Figgins released by Marlins