Injury Roll Call: Billingsley on track, Crawford confident, Uribe still fat, Greinke bad but good

ChadBillingsleyPitch

Chad Billingsley reported no pain in his injured finger following a minor-league start on Saturday.

“In the past few days there haven’t been any issues with any tenderness. The only issue is with my curve ball because I spike it with my fingertip, which pushes the nail back into the finger,” Billingsley said. “I didn’t throw anything yesterday, and didn’t throw any (curves) today. I’m just let[ting] it have more time to rest or heal, without worrying about swelling or the nail falling off.”

The Dodgers continue to be cautious with Chad, but he’s been able to swing the bat since the injury occurred.

Billingsley later threw seven curves in a bullpen session Monday and was pleased with the results.

“I was happy with them,” Billingsley said of the quality of his curveballs.

Don Mattingly wants Chad to have all of his weapons when starting, although Billingsley seems willing to pitch even if he can’t physically throw his curve much or at all.

“You want a guy to have all his weapons,” said Mattingly. “It’s tough enough without having all of them.”

Billingsley said he would “cross that bridge when we come to it” when asked if he’d be comfortable pitching in a Major League game without a curveball, but also said there are games when he doesn’t feel he has other pitches and still competes.

Bills expects to make his first scheduled start of the season on April 2 should no issues crop up before then.

“The way it’s going now, as long as there are no setbacks, I plan to be ready,” said Billingsley, who is nursing a bruised right index finger.

—–

Carl Crawford is swinging the bat and throwing without pain.

“For Carl, it was a matter of timing. But the good thing for us was the three throws,” said manager Don Mattingly. “To see him not too much in a hurry on that last one, kind of one of those where there could be a play but he knew better.”

“I had caught for him out there before Stan (Conte, director of medical services) was bringing him back, and the ball had carry on it,” Mattingly said. “The ball was coming through me, and that was 10 days ago. I knew if that was the worst it was, we were going to be okay.”

Good signs, of course, though Crawford’s arm has always been suspect. Carl will continue to play the field during the remainder of Spring Training with a day-off thrown in.

Crawford is happy with his progress thus far and is encouraged that he’ll be in left field on Opening Day.

“Every time I get to do something, it’s a step in the right direction,” said Crawford, who will be ready for Opening Day barring a setback.

—–

Juan Uribe was scratched from Saturday’s lineup due to tightness in his right hamstring.

Doing everything he can to discourage the team from keeping him. I like.

—–

Zack Greinke wasn’t very good in his return, but the important part is that he came out of it healthy.

Greinke said his elbow felt fine after pitching in his first Major League exhibition game since March 1 and he should be ready to start the season on time.

“I should be. I think so,” he said. “I’ll definitely be there, if I can build up endurance. I need some improvement.”

So he thinks he’ll be ready, but I dunno, seems like a pointless risk to throw a guy out there who hasn’t properly built up strength.

=====

Greg Zakwin is the founder of the site Plaschke Thy Sweater Is Argyle. Follow him on Twitter @ArgyledPlaschke.

About Greg Zakwin

Kate Upton, Chewy Jolly Ranchers, Biscoff Cookies and Spread, Nick Offerman. @ArgyledPlaschke