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Zack Greinke makes Dodgers debut vs. Pirates

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Greinke threw 64 and 81 pitches in his final two spring training starts.

USA TODAY Sports

Zack Greinke's status as having the highest average annual salary for a pitcher lasted for all of two months, as the Dodgers' $147 million man has since been passed in average value ($24.5 million per year) by Felix Hernandez and Justin Verlander. Greinke's debut was similarly bumped a couple spots by elbow inflammation during spring training, but he takes the mound Friday night as the Dodgers open a three-game weekend series against the Pirates at Dodger Stadium.

Manager Don Mattingly is excited to see one of his new weapons take the mound.

"Zack's pretty consistent in that he throws the ball where he wants. His command is sharp with all his stuff. He throws the ball on both sides of the plate up and down," Mattingly said. "He has a couple different breaking balls and a change up. He's a handful. For him it's just a matter of executing pitches."

The number of pitches Greinke will be allowed to execute on Friday is in question. He threw 64 pitches on Mar. 25 in Surprise against the Royals, then 81 pitches on Mar. 30 in Anaheim against the Angels. Mattingly wasn't specific about any pitch count limit for Greinke on Friday but expressed caution.

"We'll be a little careful with Zack tonight," he said.

Notes

  • Ted Lilly makes the first star of his minor league rehab assignment on Friday night for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga, against Lake Elsinore. Lilly will be limited to roughly 75 pitches.
  • Carl Crawford will play the first two games of the series against the Pirates, but could be rested against left-hander Jeff Locke on Sunday in the series finale, but it depends on how Crawford, who sat the middle game of the opening series against the Giants, feels. "He'll play the first two, then we'll see where he's at," Mattingly said.
  • Mattingly is sticking with Justin Sellers as his regular shortstop for now. "I'm looking at leaving him there for the most part, unless that just goes horribly," Mattingly said.
  • Mattingly said with the off days it was easy to play A.J. Ellis all three games against the Giants, but expect Tim Federowicz to start one of the final two games against the Pirates. Mattingly has said throughout the spring that he'd like to rest Ellis more this season after he made 128 starts in 2012. "There are a lot of games. Before you know it, (Federowicz starting) will be a regular routine," Mattingly said. "Just not right now with all the off days and stuff."
  • Ratings for Wednesday's game against the Giants were up 66% over KCAL's first telecast last season (Apr. 9, 2012 at San Diego), and the 3.1 rating in the male 25-54 demographic was up 138%.

Game info

Time: 7:10 p.m.

TV: Prime Ticket

MLB Gameday