Injury Roll Call: Hanley out weeks & set for MRI, Greinke ready, Bills hurts everything but elbow

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Dodgers designated hitter third baseman first baseman shortstop Hanley Ramirez jammed his right thumb while diving for a groundball in the World Baseball Classic and he’ll get an MRI today at the Camelback Ranch.

His WBC manager and general manager gave differing takes on the severity of it.

“I don’t think it’s bad,” Dominican coach Alfredo Griffin said.

Ramirez, playing third base for the Dominican, jammed the thumb while diving for a ground ball in the third inning. He remained in the game, even delivering a single in the fourth inning, but left after five innings.

Ramirez declined comment through a team spokesman. Dominican Manager Tony Pena said he removed Ramirez for precautionary reasons, even though Ramirez told Pena he could have gone on.

So Tony Pena didn’t think it was bad, but it’s odd to me that Hanley declined comment on it if he wasn’t worried, and maybe it’s because he is a bit, as Moises Alou sounded.

“Hanley, he jammed his thumb when he dove for that ball,” Alou said after the Dominican Republic ran off eight consecutive wins to go undefeated and win the Classic for the first time. “It was pretty swollen. He’s going to have an MRI on it [Wednesday] in Arizona.”

I guess there are differing versions of ‘serious’ at play here.

Just recently, Stan Conte spoke and although he hasn’t had an MRI yet, they’ve already ruled Hanley out for a couple weeks.

Director of medical services Stan Conte spoke with the doctor at AT&T Park, and team trainer Sue Falsone was in contact with Ramirez on Tuesday night. Both relayed their information to manager Don Mattingly.

“They painted both pictures. The optimistic side is that he had another at-bat and it’s just a sprain and it could be a couple of weeks,” Mattingly said. “The pessimistic side is that it could be something major and he’s out 8-10 weeks.”

So he’s going to miss time, regardless, and they’re obviously worried. If he misses two months of the regular season … welcome Juan Uribe.

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Zack Greinke threw a bullpen session on Sunday and reported no pain in his right elbow, which had been bothering him recently and been diagnosed as inflamed.

“I guess I could have something, but I’m assuming it’s going to fine to be on track to do whatever, but I don’t know for sure,” Greinke said.

“I probably threw a little more (than expected). I felt good. I was working on stuff, and trying to make sure I’m ready for a game,” Greinke said. “I’m just trying to get ready. I don’t think about it as a rehab.”

“I’m just doing what’s laid out, to give us the best chance. On our team we have other starting pitchers, and we have to be ready. They’re going to weigh all that in,” Greinke said. “I just want to do what’s best for the team. It’s not important what day [I make my first start of the season].”

It’s encouraging to see Greinke make it through a session without pain, and he’ll start a minor-league affair today with a strict pitch count in place. A.J. Ellis will catch Greinke instead of suiting up with the rest of the squad.

Manager Don Mattingly said that Greinke will pitch in a Minor League game in the afternoon, with A.J. Ellis staying back to catch instead of playing in the Dodgers’ Cactus League game against Kansas City.

The team should not feel rushed to get him back by Opening Day if he needs an extra week or two to get healthy for a long, long, long season.

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Chad Billingsley‘s elbow has held up all Spring Training, but unfortunately he hasn’t escaped the injury bug as a sore groin is now accompanied by a bruised index finger on his pitching hand.

The finger forced Bills out of his scheduled outing.

“I’m just taking it day by day, seeing how I feel,” Billingsley said. “I’m still playing catch, but the command is just not there because it’s bruised and swollen.”

“(We’re not) trying to force him into this one. We’re concerned about the finger from the standpoint of changing a grip, then not having a grip pressure then changing an arm angle. With everything that has gone on, we really don’t want that,” Mattingly said. “The one thing with Bills, we want to make sure he’s able to throw.”

Glad to see Don Mattingly and his staff aren’t putting pressure on Chad to tough it out and are cognizant of the fact that doing so could lead to a change in mechanics.

But how did Billingsley injure himself, you might ask?

Bunting.

Yes, Matt, bunting.

Billingsley was scratched from Wednesday’s scheduled outing due to the finger. He’s scheduled for a bullpen session instead, and game action on Saturday.

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Carl Crawford, who has been dealing with elbow issues during Spring Training, saw improvement Monday in his ability to swing the bat and throw the ball.

“It’s good to see him get a couple of hits, which makes him feel better and more part of it. But even better today for me was him throwing, and Stan (Conte, team director of medical services) working with him on the cuts,” Mattingly said. “He had a lot on the ball. That was really positive today.”

“I’m throwing a little bit harder at (75-80) feet,” Crawford said. “At some point the goal is to be able to hit the cut off man, I’m not sure how many feet that is but that’s the goal.”

Once Crawford can hit the cutoff man, he’ll be cleared by the staff to play left field. Until such an event actually occurs, Carl will continue to DH.

It’s great that there’s no serious issue at play here, but the quotes on his throwing aren’t exactly glowing.

Though Crawford has also made progress throwing, it seems that won’t return until the regular season. But as long as Crawford is ready with the bat, that will determine when he’s ready.

“I don’t think he’s going to be 100% (throwing). When I asked Stan (Conte, director of medical services) when is he ready to really throw and he said, ‘May.’ So it’s going to be a work in progress,” Mattingly said. “But we’re building to a point where we’re comfortable with him being out there. We’re feeling good about everything about Carl right now.”

I couldn’t imagine a worse-throwing outfielder than Juan Pierre, but it looks like we might see it.

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Josh Beckett has the flu, which I can only imagine he caught from Ted Lilly.

Regardless, Beckett did start a simulated game against three minor-leaguers and Jerry Hairston Jr..

“Everything went good,” manager Don Mattingly reported. “He got better as the game went on. He was happy about being able to get it in. He was worried that if he did it in a [Cactus League] game and he had a long inning, he wouldn’t get his pitch count up and the up-and-downs. He seemed to be happy with it.”

Beckett threw 76 pitches and went through the up-and-down of six innings, pitching and resting in between.

Beckett’s had an excellent spring, so hopefully he won’t miss too much time – he’s been under the weather two days thus far – as he looks to carry his exhibition success into the meaningful regular season.

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Chris Withrow, who had been out with back spasms all Spring Training, returned briefly only to be injured by a liner off the shin.

Withrow escaped with a bruise from the Paul Goldschmidt shot, and he said he expects to be back in action in a couple of days.

“It’s been a pretty adventurous spring,” said Withrow. “I came in ready to go. For my back to go out the second day was kind of frustrating. Then the second batter, after seven months off, that’s not ideal either. Things happen for a reason.”

The guy just can’t seem to stay healthy, even when it comes to living life off the field, as a recent close-call indicates.

Things were adventurous for Withrow even before Spring Training started. He and his wife survived an offseason rollover auto accident with only minor injuries.

Hopefully he can find some good health in his future, as you can never have enough live arms with strikeout stuff.

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Dee Gordon is day-to-day after slightly spraining his ankle in a collision at home, according to Don Mattingly.

The shortstop walked off the field and back to the clubhouse on his own, and the injury isn’t believed to be serious.

Chad provided us with visual proof of Gordon attempting to run over (?) Miguel Montero on an overall laughable play.

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

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