The good news for the Los Angeles Dodgers is that Zack Greinke’s elbow ligaments and tendons are fine. The bad news is Greinke himself doesn’t know when he’ll be able to pitch again.
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.
The Dodgers are hoping the PRP injection helps Greinke as it did his teammate Chad Billingsley, who is pain-free and throwing great. Greinke didn’t want to talk about the elbow, only saying that he was going to follow the direction of the training staff. To him, the best-case scenario might be pitching the second game of the season, but he definitely won't be able to throw 120 pitches by then even if all goes well.
Greinke is emblematic of the Dodgers right now: lots of star power with lots of questions. The star power sends expectations through the roof -- expectations that don’t match the team’s actual ability level and health. A good season has the Dodgers winning 90 games and a playoff berth, but the fact is they simply aren’t better than clubs such as the Giants, Nationals, Reds and Tigers.