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Dodgers' Zack Greinke throwing well in rehab

Right-hander throws 60 pitches in latest session and appears ahead of schedule in recovery from surgery on left shoulder.

May 07, 2013|By Dylan Hernandez

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Dodgers starter Zack Greinke has already touched 90 mph in his recent bullpen sessions, according to Manager Don Mattingly.

Greinke’s latest mound session came Tuesday, when he delivered about 60 pitches.

Greinke appears to be ahead of schedule in his recovery from an April 13 operation on his non-throwing shoulder. The Dodgers initially estimated Greinke would be out eight weeks, which would have kept him out until June 8.

The $147-million right-hander, who was injured in a bench-clearing incident in San Diego on April 11, said he still has some soreness in his left shoulder. But he is able to catch the ball without any problems and isn’t limited in his range of motion.

Because Greinke started throwing soon after the surgery, his throwing arm hasn’t lost much strength.

“I don’t know how I’d be throwing over 100 pitches, but throwing 50 to 75 should be pretty easy at this point,” he said. “I’ve just got to get consistency and be able to get hitters out. That’s what I’m working on in the bullpen, making good pitches. You take some time off, you’re a little rusty.”

Greinke said he didn’t know when he would start a minor league rehabilitation assignment.

Considering how he was injured, Greinke was asked if he would be in favor of implementing a rule that would call for players to be automatically suspended if they leave the dugout during a brawl. NBA players who leave the bench to participate in brawls draw automatic one-game suspensions.

“I think it’s part of the game or it has been forever,” Greinke said. “Any rule changes there’s going to be something that can backfire in a different way. Say we’re not allowed to do anything. So what? You get in a fight and it’s just one on one until one person dies?

“It’s not like people are coming off the benches and everyone’s bringing weapons out. Most of the people coming out of the dugout are there to calm things down and not encourage it. “

Elian Herrera is called up

As expected, the Dodgers put Jerry Hairston Jr. on the disabled list because of a strained left groin. Hairston’s place on the active roster was taken by utility man Elian Herrera, who was called up from triple-A Albuquerque.

The Dodgers aren’t expecting much offense from Herrera, who was batting .250 with two home runs and 16 runs batted in in 27 games for Albuquerque. He played in 67 major league games last season, hitting .251 with a home run and 17 RBIs.

Herrera was chosen instead of Scott Van Slyke to replace Hairston because of his ability to play both corner outfield positions. Mattingly said he wanted to use Herrera to give days off to left fielder Carl Crawford and right fielder Andre Ethier.

However, Van Slyke could be on his way to the majors soon. Van Slyke began Tuesday batting .393 with nine home runs and 28 RBIs at triple A but had played exclusively at first base. Van Slyke was moved to right field Tuesday.

Hanley Ramirez to be out four to six weeks

Hanley Ramirez is expected to return to the Dodgers’ lineup in four to six weeks, according to the team. Under the Dodgers’ timetable, Ramirez will return some time from the last week of May to the middle of June.

Ramirez, who was injured running the bases Friday, underwent an MRI exam that confirmed he has a strained left hamstring.

Scott Elbert is on the mend

Left-hander Scott Elbert, who underwent two elbow operations over the off-season, threw a bullpen session at Dodger Stadium. He is scheduled to start a minor league rehabilitation assignment Friday with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga. The game will be Elbert’s first at any level this year.

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