After a few weeks on the sidelines following a calf injury, it looks like Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke may possibly resume pitching on Wednesday, according to statements made by manager Don Mattingly, via True Blue LA.
While his skipper isn't being anything near committal, it appears that, following some routine work like pitchers fielding practice, he could be ready to start for the first time since he left a game on Feb. 27th after only four pitches.
"Other stuff has to happen in between there, as far as him getting on the field, doing PFP work. If that would go well, we can make a determination," Mattingly told reporters, while also directly saying he's doesn't want to promise anything regarding the pitcher's timetable for return. "I just don't want to go that far ahead."
Greinke is owed $26 million dollars this season to pitch in games that actually count, so Mattingly's reluctance to rush anything during the part of the season that doesn't makes all the sense in the world. Greinke's lights-out numbers last season -- top-10 in the National League in ERA, WHIP, and H/9 -- more than justify the expenditure, as well as his manager's precaution. And while he hasn't pitched in any type of game for the last several weeks, he's been able to pitch simulated games to the recovering Matt Kemp and the Dodgers' 2013 Minor League Player of the Year Scott Schebler.
Even with the progress, there's no way Greinke will be joining his teammates during their tour of Australia, something the former Cy Young winner is probably ecstatic about. "I don't really want to go pitch there, but that's what we're signed up to do so we're going to have to get ready to do it," Greinke said over a month ago, so it's probably best for all involved that the notoriously prickly pitcher will be staying at home and returning to action when the team comes back.
In the meantime, Greinke can rehab his leg injury so he can achieve one of his stated goals for the season: beating his catcher, A.J. Ellis, in a footrace.