After Dodgers starter Zack Greinke suffered a broken collarbone after Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin charged the mound on April 11, estimates had Greinke missing eight weeks — a mid-June return if everything went according to plan.
Greinke is ahead of schedule, though, according to MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick:
He appeared to throw all of his pitches Saturday while being watched by pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, manager Don Mattingly and medical director Stan Conte, who monitored how hard Greinke was throwing.
Midway through, Mattingly stood in the batter’s box and Greinke worked on hitting different locations.
Teammates Chris Capuano, A.J. Ellis and Clayton Kershaw also were interested observers as Greinke showed no discomfort from the injury, making roughly 40 pitches.
The Dodgers would love to have Greinke back earlier than expected as their rotation has been a revolving door as pitcher after pitcher has fallen by the wayside. Presently, seven Dodger pitchers including Greinke are on the DL.
The Cardinals have selected right-hander Miles Mikolas as their Opening Day starter, the club revealed Saturday. It’ll mark the first career Opening Day start for Mikolas, who is scheduled to go up against the Brewers when the team hits the road on March 28.
The 29-year-old righty was a strong contender for the 2018 NL Cy Young Award, earning All-Star distinctions and pitching to a career-best 18-4 record with a 2.83 ERA, 1.3 BB/9, 6.5 SO/9, and 4.3 fWAR over 200 2/3 innings. He’s positioned to lead the Cardinals rotation in 2019 as well, with former Opening Day starters Carlos Martínez and Adam Wainwright and some combination of right-handers Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha, Alex Reyes, and John Gant behind him.
Manager Mike Shildt told reporters that Flaherty, Wacha, Wainwright, and Martínez had all been considered for the honor, but admitted that Opening Day honors were ultimately handed to Mikolas “in recognition of [his performance] last year.” The Cardinals are scheduled to play a four-game set against the Brewers to start the season and will stop over in Pittsburgh for another two games before returning to St. Louis for their opening homestand against the Padres on April 4. Additional pitching assignments have yet to be announced.