Originally written on ChadMoriyama.com  |  Last updated 10/14/14
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Hanley Ramirez has resumed baseball activities, including hitting off of a tee and light toss. He plans to return earlier than the timetable originally given but the Dodgers aren’t getting ahead of themselves. Ramirez told reporters Tuesday he would be back ‘way sooner’ than May 17, and that “everybody is going to be shocked” at how quickly he returns. Manager Don Mattingly was similarly excited but less specific than Ramirez. “He was in there swinging, and he looks good. Hanley’s moving forward, that’s for sure,” Mattingly said. “I’m going out on a limb and saying it’s not going to be eight weeks.” So basically he’s declaring himself a miracle, which is fine with me considering the infield situation on the left side. The sooner he gets back, the better. —– Zack Greinke underwent surgery on his broken left collarbone, and the procedure went as expected. Dodgers right-handed pitcher Zack Greinke had successful surgery to repair a broken left collarbone on Saturday in Los Angeles, the team announced. As previously thought, Greinke is expected to miss eight weeks after the procedure. The surgery was performed on Saturday by Dr. John Itamura and Dr. Neal ElAttrache at White Memorial Hospital in Los Angeles. The 90-minute procedure fixed the fracture of Greinke’s left clavicle, and involved the placement of a metal plate to stabilize the fracture. The timetable for Zack’s return is eight weeks, which is about as good as the team could have hoped for. —– Ted Lilly agreed to make yet another minor-league rehab start. It appears that left-handed pitcher Ted Lilly and the Dodgers have agreed to extend their inconvenient arrangement a little while longer. Lilly has agreed to make another minor league start on his rehabilitation assignment, a change from his weekend stance. “It’s really been above me, what’s going on. They’ve been working it out,” Mattingly said. “We just give our baseball opinion, on what we felt like he needed, and they worked it out.” Then he made it and impressed Ken Howell. If and when the Dodgers need a replacement for the injured Chris Capuano, Ted Lilly is ready, assistant pitching coach Ken Howell said Tuesday night. “He looked tonight like a Major League pitcher,” said Howell. “He managed the game, his pitches were crisper, he competed better. That’s what I was looking for. He pitched better than the numbers indicate.” Looks more and more likely that he’ll have to be ready because of a sudden lack of rotation depth. —– Speaking of the devil, Chris Capuano, filling in for an injured Greinke, left Tuesday’s game with a left calf strain. He’s headed for an MRI on Friday, according to Don Mattingly. Oh, this start to the season just keeps getting better and better. —– The recently called-up Shawn Tolleson made one appearance before hitting the 15-day DL with a lower back strain. Tolleson was recalled on Friday when Zack Greinke went on the disabled list, and pitched in the series opener against the Diamondbacks. Tolleson came in with the bases loaded and one out in the eighth inning with the Dodgers trailing 1-0, but he walked both hitters he faced to force in two inherited runs. The move is retroactive to April 13, so Tolleson can be activated April 28 if he’s healthy. As far as his recovery goes, Tolleson has been shut down from throwing for the next week, and he actually felt something before stepping onto the field but didn’t address the issue until after putting himself at further risk. He thinks the travel may have affected his back, but for whatever reason he felt tightness before the his appearance on Friday. “It was kind of tight all day, and tight when I was warming up. I wasn’t worried about it when I was pitching, I was just trying to throw strikes,” Tolleson said. “But when I came out of the game it just really tightened up on me.” Sounds iffy as to whether or not he’ll be back after his 15 days are up. —– In better news, Carl Crawford has been cleared to result throwing normally. Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford continues to build arm strength following offseason Tommy John Surgery, enough for Dodgers trainers to give him the green light to bypass his cutoff man and throw to the bag when the situation calls for it. “I’m glad to hear that, actually, because I think as much as anything, he’s been throwing the ball pretty good,” manager Don Mattingly said before Tuesday’s game against the Padres. “I just don’t think he’s been feeling like he should be letting it go. So when the trainers tell him it’s OK, I think it makes you feel better as a player. You can turn it loose.” Guys have been taking advantage of his throwing arm, but I’m not sure how much of that is due to the surgery and how much of that is just normal for him. Either way, he’s playing well enough overall for it not to matter. —– Scott Elbert, on the shelf following left elbow surgery, is progressing in his rehab and responding well to plasma-rich platelet injections. After two offseason elbow operations, Elbert experienced a setback midway through Spring Training, received a PRP injection and has rebounded steadily since. He has been throwing hard on flat ground this weekend and could be pitching off a mound in a week or two. “I’m definitely a lot better, either from the PRP or the shoulder exercises, which also help the elbow because everything is incorporated,” said Elbert. “I wasn’t able to throw more than 75 feet in Spring Training, but I’m up to 90 feet now and my mechanics are a lot better.” Even if he’s behind two lefties right now, with the way the season is going, the depth would be nice to have. —– Steven Ames was placed on the minor league 7-day DL. ===== Greg Zakwin is the founder of the site Plaschke Thy Sweater Is Argyle. Follow him on Twitter @ArgyledPlaschke.
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