Los Angeles Dodgers Injury Update: Zack Greinke's High-Priced Arm Feeling Better

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | Less than 24 hours after shortstop Hanley Ramirez injured his thumb during the World Baseball Classic final, the Los Angeles Dodgers received some better news about pitcher Zack Greinke.

The high-prized starter, who initially experienced discomfort in his elbow last week, said his arm is feeling better after a minor-league start Wednesday.

The four-inning outing was Greinke's first game action since March 2 and the right-hander is confident that he'll be ready to make his first start of the regular season in two weeks, according to a report by MLB.com's Ken Gurnick.

When the elbow pain caused Greinke to miss a spring training start last week, an MRI revealed no structural damage and the injury was diagnosed as inflammation, according to a statement by the team. Greinke was then given a targeted injection of platelet-rich plasma as treatment.

The news of Greinke's speedy recovery as evidenced by his pain-free start Wednesday obviously comes as relief for the Dodgers, who invested $147 million in his right arm over the winter. At the time, the six-year deal was the largest ever doled out for a right-handed pitcher. Los Angeles has pegged Greinke as the No. 2 starter in the rotation behind ace Clayton Kershaw, and both hurlers have won Cy Young Awards within the past four seasons.

The Dodgers are going to need Kershaw and Greinke to be in prime form this season if Los Angeles has aspirations of dethroning the defending champion San Francisco Giants in the National League West. The Giants are a team predicated on elite starting pitching, and Greinke was brought to Los Angeles in an effort to combat San Francisco's advantage in that department.

With veteran starters Chad Billingsley, Chris Capuano, Josh Beckett, Aaron Harang and Ted Lilly all on the roster in Los Angeles, there had been talk of possibly shipping one of them off for bullpen help. Although last week's scare seems to have passed, the Dodgers may suddenly want to think about holding on to their surplus of starting pitching should there be another flare-up in Greinke's arm later this season.

Nick Ostiller was born and raised in Los Angeles and currently lives in Santa Clara. He is a sports reporter at The Santa Clara and has also worked for Outlook Newspapers.

Follow him on Twitter @nicko229.

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