Right-hander Zack Greinke missed the Los Angeles Dodgers’ recent trip to Australia to remain at Camelback Ranch and recover from a right calf strain that limited him this spring. Now, it seems as if the Dodgers’ number two pitcher is expecting to be ready for the rest of the regular season that starts up again on Sunday in San Diego.
According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, Greinke updated his status and plans at the Dodgers work out at Dodger Stadium:
Zack Greinke said he is now 100% physically but he still needs to build pitch count. He starts Thursday night against Angels.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) March 25, 2014
The Dodgers have a three-game exhibition “Freeway Series” with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim this weekend before heading to Petco Park to take on the San Diego Padres to start the domestic portion of the schedule. It’s unknown whether or not Greinke will throw in that series, although a strong start on Thursday puts him in place for another start on Tuesday in the second game. He was removed from his first Spring Training start after just four pitches because of pain in his leg. It was later found out to be a right calf strain that caused him to miss a couple starts and Australia. The 30-year-old caused some controversy about the Dodgers’ trip when he said he had zero excitement about the opening two-game series.
Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu started in Australia for the team while Greinke stayed back with fellow right-handers Dan Haren and Josh Beckett. Last spring, the former Cy Young award winner missed some time with elbow issues before missing time during the regular season after breaking his collarbone in an altercation with Padres’ outfielder Carlos Quentin. Greinke will settle in behind Kershaw in the Dodgers’ rotation and will be looking to improve on his 15-4 record and 2.63 ERA from last season.
The Dodgers will need Greinke to remain healthy the whole season in order to repeat as National League West champions and compete for a World Series berth.
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