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Zack Greinke plays catch again, could throw light bullpen session Sunday

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Greinke last pitched off a mound on Mar. 8, in a bullpen session at Camelback Ranch. He could return to a mound as early as Sunday.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Zack Greinke played catch for a second consecutive day on Saturday morning, and could throw a bullpen session as early as Sunday.

"It sounds like he's encouraged. Stan (Conte) said it was a good day. We'll see where he's at tomorrow," manager Don Mattingly said Saturday. "If he comes in and everything is alright, we're talking about a light pen."

Mattingly wouldn't commit to a possible date for Greinke to pitch in a game, saying he'd like to see how Sunday's light bullpen session goes first.

In a best-case scenario, Greinke could start as early as Wednesday, which would give him time for three spring training starts, including Mar. 25 and Mar. 30. Greinke has yet to pitch more than three innings in any game this spring.

Getting three more starts would push back Greinke's earliest potential date for a first regular season start to Apr. 5 against the Pirates. That would still give the Dodgers an opportunity to place Greinke on the disabled list to open the season and utilize an extra roster spot for the first three games of the season. Greinke could theoretically be placed on the DL with a retroactive date of Mar. 21, which would also mean his starts on Mar. 25 and Mar. 30 would have to be on the minor league side.

But we are getting ahead of ourselves here. Let's see how Greinke feels after his light bullpen session on Sunday first before making future plans.

Notes

  • Justin Sellers, who sprained his ankle on Thursday and was scratched from Friday's lineup, is also out on Saturday. Mattingly said Sellers would hopefully be available on Sunday, when the Dodgers have split squad games.
  • Both catcher Ramon Castro and relief pitcher Peter Moylan were sent home sick on Saturday.
  • Kenley Jansen pitched an inning on Friday night, then rushed out of the clubhouse to meet Team Netherlands in Peoria, where they played an exhibition game on Friday against the Mariners. Jansen flew with The Netherlands to San Francisco, where they will play in the World Baseball Classic semifinals beginning Monday night at AT&T Park.
  • Tony Gwynn Jr. will likely play in a minor league game on Sunday to get extra at-bats. Gwynn's spot on the depth chart was revealed a bit by Mattingly, who doesn't have Gwynn in one of his six starting outfield spots for Sunday's split squad games. "I don't have him scheduled (Sunday) to be anything but a backup. It's easier for him to get regular at-bats like that, where we know he's going to get them. It's easier for him to be loose and be ready," Mattingly said.
  • Hyun-jin Ryu will now pitch at Camelback Ranch on Sunday against the Brewers rather than at Talking Stick against the Diamondbacks. Ted Lilly will pitch against Arizona. Mattingly said it was Lilly's choice where to pitch, and since the pitcher lives closer to Scottsdale he chose the shorter trip.
  • Clayton Kershaw is expected to pitch six innings or roughly 90 pitches on Saturday in Surprise, and he will be followed on the mound by Javy Guerra, Brandon League, and J.P. Howell.
  • Matt Harrison starts for the Rangers, and will be followed by Yoshinori Tateyama, Lisalverto Bonilla, Evan Meek, and old friends Josh Lindblom and Jason Frasor.

Game info

Time: 1:05 p.m. PT

TV: none

Radio: KLAC 570

MLB Gameday