Zack Greinke Makes the Final Game of Spring Actually Meaningful

March 30, 2013 at 6:14 pm | Posted in Zack Greinke | Leave a comment

angelstadiumThe final game of an endlessly long spring training usually doesn’t mean a whole lot more than just “please, no one get hurt,” and for the most part, tonight’s Freeway Series finale falls under that category. But for Zack Greinke and the Dodgers, there’s at least a little intrigue to it, because Greinke needs to prove he’s ready to start the season with the team rather than on the disabled list.

As we discussed last week, it didn’t matter so much that he looked terrible against the Royals, because it was his first outing after weeks on the shelf. Against another of his former teams, it matters a little more, because he’s simply out of time. Either Greinke shows he’s ready, or the Dodgers have to make a tough decision about whether to start him on the shelf while he gets stretched out. We might see Chris Capuano & Aaron Harang after Greinke tonight, and that’ll be fun because they’re the two men who have their fates tied most closely to how Greinke performs. Again though, I do expect Greinke to start next Friday against Pittsburgh unless tonight goes really, really poorly.

Dodgers
Angels
LF
Crawford
LF
Trout
2B
M.Ellis
SS
Aybar
CF
Kemp
1B
Pujols
1B
Gonzalez
DH
Hamilton
RF
Ethier
LF
Trumbo
3B
Cruz
2B
Kendrick
C
Federowicz
3B
Callaspo
SS
Sellers
C
Ianetta
P
Greinke
P
Bourjos

You’ll also notice that Justin Sellers is once again starting at shortstop tonight, further evidence that he really is in consideration to take that job to start the season. Talk about one of the more improbable twists of the spring; for a reference point, 166 people entered the Brooklyn Dodger hat Opening Day roster contest. Only four had Sellers on their lists, fewer people than had Ramon Castro, Scott Elbert, Yasiel Puig, Mark Lowe, or Nick Evans.

There’s no Dodger broadcast of tonight’s game, but the Angels will have it on Fox Sports. However, it’ll be delayed until after the Kings vs. Wild game is over, which starts an hour before first pitch; if you want to check it out live, it’ll be a free MLB.tv broadcast there. (And for all the jokes about MLB.tv failing miserably last night, I believe the problem was more on the end of all the new gadgets in Dodger Stadium than anything.)

It’s possible that the team announces some roster moves after tonight’s game — it’s not like things like sending out Matt Wallach & Stephen Fife aren’t pretty obvious — but my guess is that we don’t get real answers to the questions we posed earlier today until tomorrow. That might just be me hoping that’s the case though, since anything fun breaking late on a Saturday night is never cool. (Especially one where I’ll be at a concert at a venue that’s deep enough underground that probably means cell service is unlikely.)

As for Clayton Kershaw, I still believe that his deal will get finalized by the end of Sunday so as to not conflict with Opening Day ceremonies, though as I said on Twitter earlier, I’m starting to believe that my initial estimate of $200 million might actually be about 10% light. Remember back in January when I guesstimated 7/$159m? That wasn’t all that different from the projections of others at the time, but it now sounds like we’re all going to be wayyy off.

I’m guessing that the deal will be announced at 12:30pm PT on Sunday, and that’s not in any way based on sources or inside info — it’s when I’ll be walking into an Easter dinner with the family, because of course that’s when it’ll happen. Either way, I do think it will happen before he throws his first pitch on Monday, and if it doesn’t, it’ll be because it fell through, not because of bad info.

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