For the third time in six days, Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke threw a bullpen session on Tuesday afternoon before the Dodgers hosted the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium. The right-hander is ahead of schedule in his recovery from a broken collarbone.
Greinke threw just over 60 pitches on Tuesday, and like Saturday in San Francisco was clocked at 90 mph. Unlike last Thursday's light bullpen session at Dodger Stadium, the last two have been much more strenuous, with Greinke throwing all of his pitches.
"My normal bullpen session is 20 pitches at 75 percent," Greinke said. "This was nothing like a normal bullpen session for me."
Greinke had surgery to repair his broken collarbone on Apr. 13, suffered in a brawl with Carlos Quentin of the Padres, who was hit by a Greinke pitch on Apr. 11 in San Diego. The original diagnosis was to have Greinke pitching again for the Dodgers in eight weeks, which would have been June 8.
Now, Greinke could begin a minor league rehab assignment as soon as this weekend, provided he has no setbacks. That could put Greinke in line to return to the Dodgers at some time around the last week of May.
"He's getting closer. He threw 61 or 62 pitches today," said manager Don Mattingly. "We'll see how he bounces out of that, and then his next step will be moving toward a rehab assignment."
The accelerated time table is something Greinke had in mind from the start of his rehab.
"I don't know if it was a part of everyone's plan. I thought I would be doing at least this many (bullpen sessions), if not more," Greinke said. "I don't know how I'd be throwing over 100 pitches, but throwing 50-75 should be pretty easy at this point."
Greinke should be back well before the Dodgers next play the Padres, from June 3-5 in Los Angeles. Greinke said he wouldn't be in favor of a rule change barring automatic ejections or fines for people joining a brawl out of the dugout.
"I think it's part of the game, and has been forever. With any rule changes, there will be something that could backfire in a different way," Greinke said. "Say we're not allowed to do anything. So if you get in a fight, is it just one-on-one until one person dies?
"It's not like these brawls where people are coming off the benches and everyone is bringing weapons. Most of the people coming out of the dugout are there to calm things down, not encourage it."
Time: 7:10 p.m.
TV: Prime Ticket