Zack Greinke left Thursday's exhibition contest against the Diamondbacks just four pitches into his start due to an apparent right leg injury, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. Greinke appeared to land awkwardly on his third pitch and came out of the game after throwing another to Cliff Pennington. For now the team is calling it a calf strain and have said that removing him from the game was merely a precaution.
Greinke is entering the second year of a six year, $147 million deal with the Dodgers and is slotted behind Clayton Kershaw in the team's impressive rotation. In his first year with the Dodgers, he had a 2.63 ERA and 3.23 FIP in 177 ⅔ innings. The time Greinke missed in 2013 was due to a broken collarbone suffered at the hands of Carlos Quentin, but the right-hander has pitched 170 or more innings in each of the last six season with four of those seasons featuring at least 200 innings.
If Greinke has to miss significant time, it will obviously be a blow to the Dodgers, but given the quality of their rotation, they should be able to weather it. The more pressing concern is the opening series in Australia which takes place on March 22. Greinke was outspoken in his lack of enthusiasm for the trip, but an injury that might keep him out of regular season game is probably not his idea of a solution.