A week ago Monday, Dodger manager Don Mattingly told reporters that the last step in Zack Greinke’s return to the Dodgers starting rotation would be for him to be able to swing the bat. If yesterday is any indication, Zack is not there yet.
As you may know, aside from that day’s starting pitcher, Dodger starters are always the first group to take live BP and yesterday was no exception. But while Kershaw and Ryu and Capuano and Magill were getting their hacks in, Greinke was standing outside of the batting cage playing catch with Dodger bench coach Trey Hillman.
Does this mean that Greinke will be starting for the Advanced Single-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes on Wednesday evening instead of the Dodgers? Absolutely not. But it clearly means that he is either not ready to take live BP or that the Dodgers are concerned about allowing him to do so.
This is also not to say that Greinke hasn’t been doing tee work or taking soft-toss BP in the newly remodeled indoor batting cage, which I absolutely believe that he has – and probably for quite some time now; after all, as Greinke’s former manager Mike Scioscia once said “Zack likes to hit.”
During Mattingly’s post-game interview after Monday night’s 6-2 loss to the Washington Nationals, Mattingly was asked if he has made a decision on where Greinke will start on Wednesday night. The ever-evasive Mattingly said that he has, but he would not reveal his answer to the media yet.
Oh the drama of baseball in L.A.