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Zack Greinke won’t show up to Astros camp until February 22

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Astros manager Dusty Baker said today that Zack Greinke won’t report to camp until Feb. 22 , which is more than a week after pitchers and catchers report date.

Is he hurt? Nah. Baker said Greinke is healthy and working out on his own. What gives? Baker:

“Other than he’s Zack Greinke. I’ve got no problem with that.”

So, Greinke being Greinke. Which isn’t super surprising. He, as you likely know, has always done his own thing. One gets the sense that he makes his mind up to do what he does based on a criteria to which you and I can’t really relate and which he is not terribly interested in explaining. Given that he has always been ready to pitch and hasn’t been a divisive clubhouse personality I think everyone is cool with him doing his own Zack Greinke-esque things.

Still.

Part of me wonders if Greinke knew that the utter mess of the first couple of days of Astros camp was going to go how it’s gone. If he knew that his teammates who were on that 2017 team would be, for the most part, stumbling around for explanations and excuses, and if his team’s owner and others in charge were going to make a hash out of it all as they have. Part of me also wonders if Greinke — while not a member of that 2017 Dodgers team the Astros faced in the World Series but certainly close to many members of that club given his previous years on the team — didn’t want any part of being asked to comment on the whole situation.

But only part of me wonders that because Greinke is also the kind of guy who has never seemed too bothered by hard questions. Because, unlike most athletes, he tends to give pretty honest answers and doesn’t seem to care where the chips fall. It may simply be a situation in which he just woke up a couple of weeks ago and said “spring training starts on February 22 for me and that’s that.” Dusty Baker is a smart guy who has been around long enough to know that if that’s what happened there is no sense in trying to change Greinke’s mind.

Anyway, Greinke, even though he’s thousands of miles away from spring training, is already having a better spring training than most of the Astros are. Seems like a pretty good decision, all things considered.

Chris Sale to start the season in the injured list

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Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke said this morning that Chris Sale won’t be ready for the start of the season. He’ll begin the year on the injured list.

The reason is not, Roenicke says, his rehabbed elbow directly. It’s that he’s been sidelined with pneumonia and is thus a couple of weeks behind in his preparation. Roenicke, as paraphrased by Julian McWilliams of the Boston Globe, said that it was “unfair” to give sale “just four starts” this spring.

Which, as Rotoworld’s Matthew Pouliot observes, is kind of strange because Sale’s last four spring trainings have consisted of three, five, four and two starts, respectively, yet he has been deemed ready to go each year. Pouliot also notes that, if he was truly only a couple of weeks behind, as Roenicke says, he’d be ramped up to about four innings per outing or so by the time the bell rings as opposed to six, maybe, and that that’s not an unusual level of stamina for a starter in this day and age given the changes in bullpen usage. Ideal for Sale? Maybe not, but not the sort of thing one would expect to result in an IL stint to start the year.

An overabundance of caution informed by the fact that, well, the Red Sox aren’t intending to compete this year? A change in philosophy under the Red Sox’ interim new manager? Or is there something going on with Sale’s health at the moment?