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Dodgers' Zack Greinke thinks he can pitch in opening week of season

Right-hander pitched four innings against Chicago White Sox minor league players.

March 20, 2013|By Dylan Hernandez
  • Zack Greinke said he felt better after receiving a platelet-rich plasma injection in his sore elbow.
Zack Greinke said he felt better after receiving a platelet-rich plasma… (Paul Sancya / Associated…)

PHOENIX -- Encouraged by how his elbow felt Wednesday in his first game in nearly three weeks, Zack Greinke said he thought he could be ready to pitch at the start of the regular season.

“I hope so,” Greinke said. “My arm felt really good today. It felt strong.”

Greinke faced Chicago White Sox minor league players for four innings, throwing 43 pitches and facing one batter more than the minimum. He gave up a single, hit a batter and induced a double play.

“I wasn’t perfect,” he said. “You saw me upset with several pitches. But first outing in two weeks, that’s kind of expected.”

Greinke, who received an injection of platelet-rich plasma in his sore elbow nine days earlier, last started a game March 1.

Greinke is scheduled to pitch twice more during the exhibition season, on March 25 and 30. He said that should be enough to build up his arm strength and gain the necessary sharpness to pitch in the regular season.

The way the rotation is lined up, Greinke could make his first start of the season April 5 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Greinke, who previously said he wouldn’t rush back, said Wednesday that he would like to pitch that game against the Pirates.

“I like pitching,” Greinke said. “I want to pitch 34 starts, the whole regular season. I don’t want to miss one day.”

ALSO:

Chad Billingsley has pain-free bullpen session

Tim Federowicz will start season as A.J. Ellis' backup at catcher

Dodgers prepare to be without Hanley Ramirez on opening day

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