Zack Greinke throws bullpen session, feels fine

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Dodgers right-hander Zack Greinke took a step in the right direction on Saturday afternoon, playing catch for the first time since undergoing platelet-rich plasma treatment on his sore pitching elbow early last week. This afternoon, the progress continued.

According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, Greinke threw “about 40 pitches” in a bullpen session Sunday in Dodgers camp. The workout was supervised by pitching coach Rick Honeycutt and manager Don Mattingly, and the reviews were positive all around. Most importantly, Greinke didn’t experience any sort of discomfort in his right arm.

“I’m just doing what’s laid out,” Greinke said after the workout when he was asked by a reporter whether he’s going to be available for his scheduled April 2 start against the Giants. “Our team, we got other starting pitchers. They’re going to weigh all that and decide when I’m going to pitch and stuff. … I want to do what’s best for the team. It’s not important what day.”

The 29-year-old inked a six-year, $147 million free agent contract with the Dodgers this offseason.

Reds acquire Darnell Sweeney from the Dodgers

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The Reds acquired utilityman Darnell Sweeney from the Dodgers in exchange for cash considerations, J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group reports.

This is the second time that the Dodgers have traded Sweeney. The club sent him to the Phillies along with John Richy in August 2015 for Chase Utley. The Phillies sent him back to the Dodgers this past offseason with Darin Ruf in exchange for Howie Kendrick.

Sweeney, 26, made his major league debut in 2015 with the Phillies, hitting a meager .176/.286/.353 in 98 plate appearances. With Triple-A Oklahoma City this season, he hit .227/.290/.412 in 131 PA. While Sweeney’s bat hasn’t proven to be anything special, he has played second base, third base, shortstop, and all three outfield positions, so his flexibility will make him useful at some point.

Bryce Harper to Little League players: “No participation trophies, first place only”

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Nationals’ star outfielder Bryce Harper had some words of advice for a local Little League team on Saturday, telling a crowd of young players and their parents that winning matters far more than any participation trophies they might receive for their efforts on the field.

“As much as they might tell you, ‘Oh, it’s okay, you guys lost…’ No, Johnny, no,” Harper explained. “No participation trophies, okay? First place only. Come on.”

The panic over participation trophy culture has swelled over the last few years as studies continue to suggest that children are happier when they’re praised for their accomplishments, rather than rewarded for simply trying their best. The general idea is that kids aren’t motivated to succeed when they know they’ll receive a ribbon or medal celebrating their efforts at the end of the day — regardless of whether they win or lose. (Granted, it stands to reason that every kid can feel the difference between winning a championship trophy and receiving a participation ribbon.) Some have taken the idea to an extreme, claiming that when a child receives too many accolades for mediocre or poor performances, it can warp the way they view the world by generating a sense of undeserved entitlement.

Harper kept his tone light during the Q&A session, however, drawing cheers and applause from the majority of parents and a few of the kids. The 2015 NL MVP has routinely taken his own advice over the years, earning Rookie of the Year honors, four All-Star nominations and a Silver Slugger award since he broke into the major leagues in 2012. Next on his list? A World Series championship.