Dodgers' Zack Greinke pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates at… (Harry How / Getty Images )
So they huddled in their super-double-secret meeting, and after weighing all the pros and cons and hearing from everyone in the organization except one usher in Section 28, the Dodgers have decided:
Zack Greinke will start Wednesday against the Nationals.
And shock rippled throughout baseball.
I have no logical reason why the Dodgers waited until the eve of his start to make this expected announcement. Greinke said he was ready to return from his broken collarbone several days ago.
“He feels like he’s ready,” Manager Don Mattingly said. “His stuff tells us he’s ready. He didn’t think he was going to get anything more out of a minor league start.”
Now the bigger question becomes: Does Josh Beckett replace him on the disabled list?
The Dodgers are going to have to make a roster move Wednesday to activate Greinke, and Beckett (0-5, 5.91 ERA) came out of his start Tuesday after three ineffective innings, Mattingly saying he tweaked a groin covering first.
The Dodgers don’t have to make that decision until Wednesday, but Beckett going on the DL is certainly an option.
“He could be a candidate,” Mattingly said. “Obviously we’re not going to make that decision today. Give him a little bit. He’s sore, kind of both groins. Still they want to give him 24 hours to see where he’s going.”
Greinke, though, could be the first of several returning from the disabled list over the next few days for the struggling Dodgers. Second baseman Mark Ellis ran the bases for the first time Tuesday to test his strained quad.
“Everything felt really good,” Ellis said.
He is now scheduled to join Double-A Chattanooga for a two-game rehab assignment Friday.
“It seems like when we miss him, we don’t play as well,” Mattingly said.
Also left-hander Ted Lilly (rib strain) is scheduled to make his first rehab start Wednesday for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga and utility man Jerry Hairston Jr. (groin) is scheduled to play in a simulated game in Arizona on Friday before beginning his own rehab assignment.
Mattingly said Greinke, who signed a $147-million contract with the Dodgers in the off-season, should be able to make a normal start and throw 90 to 100 pitches.
“Zack is obviously a big key,” Mattingly said. “Getting him back kind of gives you another [Clayton] Kershaw. And the way Hyun-Jin [Ryu] is pitching, that gives you a pretty good threesome right there. You feel like you’re going to get good outings and keep your bullpen in order.”