Zack Greinke throws first mound session since calf strain

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Zack Greinke has already been ruled out for the Dodgers’ season-opening series in Sydney, Australia (March 22-23) due to a mild right calf strain that he suffered on the second-to-last day of February.

But the right-hander could be ready to rock for the club’s first game back in the United States.

According to MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick, Greinke threw off a mound Wednesday afternoon in Dodgers camp for the first time since leaving his Cactus League debut with that strained calf. Greinke is scheduled to throw off a mound again on Thursday and could return to the Dodgers’ spring rotation next week.

Greinke, who made it known last month that he was not excited for the Dodgers’ Australian trip, will presumably be a candidate to pitch March 30 in San Diego. That’s the Padres’ regular-season opener.

Brad Ausmus seems to know he’s a dead man walking

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The Tigers have been terrible and the embarked on a rebuild this summer, shipping off Justin Verlander and multiple other players. Miguel Cabrera is hurt and may never be his old MVP-level self. It is, without a doubt, that the Tigers and their fans are about to begin a new chapter in the franchise’s history.

Such new chapters usually involve new managers. Fourth-year manager Brad Ausmus is still at the helm and the Tigers have made no public statement about his future. Ausmus, however, is a lame duck, with his contract ending a week from Sunday. He is also no fool. He seems to know very well that he’s not going to be around next year. From Katie Strang of The Athletic:

Ausmus, of course, has been on the hot seat several times. When Detroit exercised his option for this year, their refusal to extend it sent a pretty clear signal.

If this is the end of the road in Detroit for Baseball’s Most Handsome Manager, it will end with him having missed the playoffs in three of his four seasons at the helm of a star-studded team that was expected to Win Now, as they say. Yes, there were a lot of issues with the Tigers — their bullpen has always been a problem and the brass made a lot of questionable choices in signings and trades over the past few years — but there is no escaping the fact that Ausmus’ Tigers under achieved.

Marco Estrada signs a one-year, $13 million deal for 2018

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Marco Estrada and the Blue Jays have agreed to a one-year, $13 million extension with the Blue Jays, reports Jon Morosi of MLB.com. Last night Morosi reported that the sides were near a deal.

This extension is, functionally, like adding a year on to his old deal, which paid him $26 million for the 2016-17 seasons. As Bill noted last night. while the 34-year-old right-hander has a subpar 4.84 ERA on the season, he has a solid 170/67 K/BB ratio in 176.2 innings this year and has improved in the second half.