Friday, March 15, 2013
Will Greinke's elbow alter Dodgers' plans?
By Jason Catania
It has been speculated for several weeks that the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have a surplus of starting pitching, may end up trading one of their excess arms. With the latest news about Zack Greinke might give the club pause on that front.
The Dodgers big-money free agent acquisition this offseason, Greinke was scratched from a scheduled spring outing because he's dealing with inflammation in his right elbow. Greinke also received an injection of platelet-rich plasma and anti-inflammatory medication to treat the elbow.
The good news is that an MRI conducted last week showed "showed there was no structural damage to the ligaments or tendons of the elbow," but the Dodgers will be careful with their $147 million investment. Whether that makes the GM Ned Colletti less likely to trade a starter this month remains to be seen, but this development certainly won't give Colletti any reason to actually make a deal.
Aside from Greinke, who will slot into the No. 2 spot as long as he's healthy, the Dodgers rotation includes Clayton Kershaw, Josh Beckett, Chad Billingsley and Hyun-Jin Ryu. That leaves three starters as potential trade bait: Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang and Ted Lilly.
In the event that Greinke (or anyone else in the five-man) has to miss time, Capuano may have an edge to be next in line after winning 12 games with a 3.72 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in 2012. Of course, Capuano, who is set to earn $6 million this year with a $1 million buyout of a mutual 2014 option worth $8 million, would likely be the top target of most interested teams, so the Dodgers would have to weigh how much they value the security of having the left-hander around versus the return on any potential trade.
ESPN Insider Jim Bowden says there might be more to be more worried about with Greinke than the Dodgers are letting on:
Jim BowdenInflammation a sign of something more?
"The right-hander has been dealing with inflammation in his pitching elbow and was given an injection of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to settle down the elbow. In my experience, inflammation is a telltale sign of loose bodies -- perhaps a bone spur or something similar. But when I pressed Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti, he told me there were no loose bodies or a bone spur in the back of Greinke’s elbow. "