When I opined last week that Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke should skip the Dodgers’ trip to Australia, I had the scenario playing out differently. I certainly didn’t have Greinke suffering a calf injury on his fourth pitch of his first 2014 spring training appearance that would effectively force out of the game.
But here we are — five days later — and Greinke is only now beginning to play catch. Don Mattingly told reporters after Monday’s 7-3 loss to the A’s that Greinke was not an option to go down under. That’s great. Now, if we can just convince Mattingly to hold back Kershaw — who was roughed up for a second consecutive spring start (no, it isn’t time to panic) — we’ll be sittin’ pretty.
Greinke’s injury is minor enough that it shouldn’t have a bearing on his regular season performance or readiness, especially since he’s staying in the past.
Mattingly said whichever starting pitchers the Dodgers take to Australia, they will be on strict pitch counts (90-100). If the Dodgers take Hyun-Jin Ryu and Dan Haren to pitch against Patrick Corbin and Trevor Cahill, I like their chances. Yes, their chances would improve dramatically if Kershaw were to pitch, but I’m more than confident in Ryu and Haren being able to take at least one game from the Corbin/Cahill duo.
Because of the strict pitch counts, the Dodgers are going to have to bring a long man or two just in case Ryu and/or Haren falter. That man could be Seth Rosin (pronounced Ro-ZEEN, as some have wonder in the comments section), whom Mike wrote about earlier. How good has he been in his first five innings? Eight strikeouts and no runs allowed — doesn’t get much better than that. Eric Stephen at True Blue LA laid out just how Rosin could join the Dodgers in Australia.
“The Dodgers have to submit a 28-man opening day roster to MLB by 7 p.m. PT on Friday, March 21, six hours before their opening game against the Diamondbacks in Australia. Three of the 28 names, which must be designated simultaneously with the roster submission, are ineligible to play in those two games. These will people likely left behind in Arizona to continue to work in minor league games but not on the disabled list, with candidates like Zack Greinke and Josh Beckett, to name two.
This potentially opens up a spot for an extra relief pitcher or two, at least for those two games in Australia. The Dodgers do have to cut down to a normal 25-man roster by March 30, the date of their first game in the U.S., against the Padres in San Diego.”
If only Brandon League weren’t a thing…
Really hope this guy is still there selling tons of limonada.