Dodgers say Greinke's next start undecided
Righty will pitch Wednesday, either in Minors or against Nationals
LOS ANGELES -- Zack Greinke wants to pitch for the Dodgers on Wednesday, but the club says it hasn't made a decision because of concerns that the right-hander might reinjure his left collarbone in a collision.
Greinke will be on a mound Wednesday, regardless. But it's yet to be determined if that start will be at Dodger Stadium against the Nationals or in the Minor Leagues.
"I think it's just risk-reward at this point," manager Don Mattingly said before Monday's series opener against the Nationals. "Basically making sure everyone is OK with it."
Greinke broke his left collarbone April 11 in a benches-clearing incident in San Diego. He was pain-free during a Minor League rehab start with Class A Rancho Cucamonga on Friday, a month removed from surgery.
So what are the risks involved if Greinke pitches for the Dodgers on Wednesday?
"It's just the little worries of covering first, running into somebody, hitting and sliding, covering home plate and blocking the plate in some fashion, diving for a bunt," Mattingly said. "A lot of things can happen where he lands on his shoulder."
Greinke's arm strength is not a concern. He was able to resume throwing a few weeks removed from surgery. He's yet to face live pitching, but should been able to bunt and has been taking swings.
The Dodgers have a tough decision to make with Greinke, and the clock is ticking.
"We don't want to wait too long, but we want to make sure that everybody is on the same page," Mattingly said. "We just haven't really gotten all that together."
If the Dodgers decide Greinke is not ready to be activated from the disabled list, rookie Matt Magill would start Wednesday.
Struggling League remains Dodgers' closer
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers are sticking with Brandon League as their closer, for now.
"For right now he is," manager Don Mattingly said before Monday's series opener against the Nationals. "I hate to say it like that."
League allowed two runs on three hits in the ninth inning Sunday vs. the Marlins in a non-save situation, his third straight appearance allowing at least one run. The right-hander has surrendered 11 runs (10 earned) in his past 11 appearances entering Monday.
Following three scoreless innings in three appearances to begin the season, League's ERA has increased to 6.28. Still, he's converted eight of his nine save chances.
But given League's recent struggles, the Dodgers are considering shuffling roles at the back end of the bullpen.
Of course, changing roles in the 'pen is not so simple, according to the manager. League, setup man Kenley Jansen and Ronald Belisario all lost games last week.
"If we're getting to the ninth consistently and everybody is pitching well and everybody is doing their thing, then it's a lot easier to set a role," Mattingly said. "We just haven't put ourselves in a good situation very often. We've been inconsistent."
Jansen has been the most consistent of the bunch. The hard-throwing right-hander has turned in a scoreless outing 16 times this season, allowing runs in just three appearances entering Monday.
Dodgers trio close to rehab assignments
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers left-hander Ted Lilly, second baseman Mark Ellis and utility man Jerry Hairston Jr. all could begin rehab assignments in the next week.
Lilly threw a bullpen session Saturday for the first time since he received an injection in his right rib cage on April 30 and could start a Minor League game this week.
"I think Teddy's feeling pretty good," manager Don Mattingly said before Monday's game against the Nationals. "He's not feeling anything with his neck or his side right now. So we're moving where we want to go with him."
Ellis continues to progress from a strained right quad, but is still not running at full speed. The veteran will travel with the team to Atlanta for a three-game series that begins Friday and could appear in a rehab game during that series, possibly with nearby Double-A Chattanooga.
Hairston, on the disabled list with a left groin strain, is working out in Arizona at the Dodgers' Spring Training facility at Camelback Ranch-Glendale. He will join the club in Atlanta and could begin a rehab assignment with Ellis in Chattanooga.
Dodgers help schoolchildren get free glasses
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti, catcher A.J. Ellis and closer Brandon League visited Dorris Place Elementary School on Monday afternoon to distribute glasses to students.
The Dodgers Foundation has partnered with Vision To Learn, a nonprofit organization that provides free eye exams and free glasses to elementary school students in low-income communities throughout Los Angeles.
"Our partnership with Vision To Learn helps us support one of our key foundation pillars, health and wellness, by providing free eyeglasses to elementary school students throughout the greater Los Angeles area," said Dodgers owner and Foundation chairman Mark Walter. "We are excited to be working with them on this effort."
Ellis and League, who both wear glasses, will remain involved with Vision to Learn during the season. They will host a total of 500 guests, including kids who received eyeglasses and their families, when the Dodgers begin a three-game series against the Cardinals on May 24.
Elbert has second successful rehab outing
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers reliever Scott Elbert pitched a perfect inning in a rehab appearance with Class A Rancho Cucamonga on Monday night, the second scoreless outing for the left-hander in four days.
Elbert struck out two during a 1-2-3 eighth inning as the Quakes beat Lake Elsinore, 4-1. He threw 17 pitches (eight strikes).
On Friday, Elbert tossed a scoreless seventh inning with Rancho Cucamonga, striking out two and earning the win.
Elbert is working his way back from a pair of operations on his left elbow during the winter. He has not pitched in a Major League game since last August.
Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.