The Los Angeles Dodgers contingent that departed for Australia in the early hours of Monday morning included a few surprises and some notable omissions such as, Carl Crawford and Zack Greinke. Due to the pending birth of a child for Crawford and Greinke’s recovery from a right calf strain both stayed back at Camelback Ranch. Also not making the trip was Matt Kemp, who continues to recover from off-season ankle surgery, and Dan Haren and Brandon League.
The trio of Crawford, Greinke and Kemp were busy on Monday, appearing in a game against the San Diego Padres’ Class-A team, according to Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times. Greinke threw four innings and Dilbeck reports he got through his appearance without suffering any setbacks:
Right-hander Zack Greinke tested his sore calf, apparently without problem against a Class-A Padres team. He threw four scoreless innings, allowing just one hit. The Dodgers said he used all his pitches, had one fielding play and covered first base on another. He threw 42 pitches, 32 for strikes.
According to Dilbeck, Kemp had another hitless day, going 0-for-3, but managed to spend more time playing in center field and Crawford had a single and stolen base in his three plate appearances. Greinke appears to be on track to pitch for the Dodgers once they return stateside, potentially getting a start in one of the three exhibition games with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim before making his regular season debut. As Dilbeck notes, Crawford ran well and should be able to immediately re-join the club upon their return from Australia. Kemp’s status is a bit more unclear, but his debut with the Dodgers could come within the next month.
As for League, who’s entering the second season of a three-year, $22.5 million contract, he was presumably omitted from the travel team due to his struggles through Spring Training. How or when manager Don Mattingly will integrate the right-hander with the roster will be an intriguing storyline moving forward. League’s salary may make it difficult to send him to the minor leagues, but his poor performances may leave Mattingly with limited options. Similar to Crawford and Greinke, Haren, who’s battling a tired arm, should also be available when the team returns stateside.
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