Los Angeles Dodgers’ ace Zack Greinke began his rehab
assignment on Friday, May 10. Greinke threw 4.1 innings for the Dodgers' Class
A Rancho Cucamonga. MLB.com’s Ken
Gurnick reports that Greinke allowed 8 runs (3 earned) on 6 hits
and struck out 4 batters. While his line may not impress statisticians, the
fact that Greinke pitched in a game so soon after surgery is a great sign.
Greinke suffered a broken left collarbone during an April 11 bench-clearing brawl when the San Diego Padres’ Carlos Quentin charged the
mound after Greinke hit him with a pitch. Quentin received an eight-game
suspension, but Greinke went on the disabled list and needed surgery two days later. Greinke was expected to miss eight weeks, but this
rehab start puts him well ahead of schedule. If team doctors agree, Greinke
could return by mid to late May.
Greinke admitted that he did not have his best Friday night,
but that is expected after such injury. It will likely take a few more starts for
Greinke to regain his form and velocity, but he feels that returning to the
Majors will bring it back faster. Said Greinke, “I need the highest league to
bring out the best stuff.”
Losing Greinke has hurt the Dodgers. Entering play on May
11, the Dodgers are in last place in the N.L. West at 13-21. Their starting
rotation is 8-11 with a 3.98 ERA. Greinke alone was 15-5 with a 3.48 ERA with
the Los Angeles Angels in 2012. That impressive record helped Greinke earn a
6-year, $147 million deal with the Dodgers. His return could boost the team that
is expected to win the division.
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