2/28/2014 7:20 P.M. ET
Touted prospect, Minors slugger homer in win
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Two Dodgers slugged home runs on Friday.
Joc Pederson, 21, is rated one of the top two prospects in the organization, depending on the source, is the son of a former Dodger and was signed for $1.5 million to pass on a scholarship to USC. Don Mattingly often says he loves Pederson's swing.
Clint Robinson is not Pederson. He's 29, signed to a Minor League contract, now in his eighth professional season that includes a four-game cup of coffee with Kansas City in 2012. The homer Robinson hit Friday was not his first in a spring game, he said.
"I'm letting them know who I am," said Robinson, a left-handed power-hitting first baseman who figures to be Triple-A insurance if anything happens to Adrian Gonzalez, a left-handed power-hitting first baseman and now a Dodgers fixture.
"You never know what can happen," Robinson said. "Any time you sign as a free agent, the goal is to show you can help the big league team out."
Robinson has an impressive 123 career Minor League home runs, but all that's earned him are four Major League at-bats. Why?
"You're asking the wrong guy," Robinson said. "A lot of it is being in the right place at the right time. I was with Kansas City a long time and it just didn't happen. I just play and never give up and do the best I can."
Robinson's path in Kansas City was blocked by Eric Hosmer and Billy Butler, and now by Gonzalez. Pederson is a longshot to make the Dodgers coming out of camp, although Matt Kemp will open the season on the disabled list, and that will open an outfield spot.
"We've got a good feeling what Joc can become," said Mattingly. "The guy needs to continue to play and get better making adjustments. Experience can't be bought."
Greinke's Australia status uncertain after calf strain
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Zack Greinke's strained right calf muscle did not appear to be severe the day after, but it probably will keep him from starting in the Dodgers' season-opening series in Australia against the D-backs.
Manager Don Mattingly said the injury "doesn't necessarily rule him out of Australia," but he also said Greinke has been scratched from his Saturday bullpen session and his next scheduled start on Tuesday.
That essentially puts Greinke too far behind schedule to be ready for the March 16 flight to Australia. Even Mattingly conceded that building Greinke's pitch count to 90 by then is "in jeopardy."
Greinke declined to comment.
The righty suffered the injury on the fourth pitch of his initial start on Thursday against the D-backs. He played catch on flat ground Friday to test it, but Mattingly said there was "enough of a feeling in there" that Greinke knew a bullpen session on Saturday would be a mistake.
Mattingly has resisted naming who would pitch the two Australia games against the D-backs, saying the club would prepare Clayton Kershaw, Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Dan Haren to make the trip just in case somebody was injured.
Now it looks like Kershaw and Ryu will be the starters, if both stay healthy.
Kemp waits on MRI; Puig, Crawford back Saturday?
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Dodgers had plenty of injury updates Friday besides Zack Greinke's, including those of Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig and others.
Manager Don Mattingly said Kemp had an MRI exam of his ankle taken on Thursday, a day earlier than the club had announced. Mattingly said Kemp's North Carolina-based surgeon, Dr. Robert Anderson, had to evaluate the results, and the club wouldn't have anything definitive until the weekend.
Kemp is attempting to return from a career-threatening injury to the weight-bearing talus bone in his left ankle, which suffered a stress reaction and cartilage chip. The repair surgery included a microfracture procedure to produce additional cartilage-like substance for extra protection to the bone.
The tricky part of the comeback is that if Kemp returns too soon, the bone can be damaged permanently, and there is no way to accurately predict when the bone is fully healed. If Anderson gives the green light, Kemp might begin jogging.
Puig, not in the lineup Friday, also didn't throw or take batting practice to rest his shoulders. Mattingly said Puig was getting the game off anyway and was expected back in the lineup Saturday.
Outfielder Carl Crawford, whose right quad and hamstring tightened while running the bases in Wednesday's exhibition opener, said he would miss his second consecutive game Friday as a precaution, but expected to play on Saturday.
Pitching prospect Ross Stripling underwent a contrast MRI on his right elbow, which came up sore nearly a week ago. Mattingly said Stripling never told a trainer or coach until after a one-inning appearance in Wednesday's game. A ligament injury is suspected.
Brandon League (lat strain) pitched a simulated inning to Kemp and told the club he's ready to throw in a game. Scott Elbert threw off a mound for the first time since a January appendectomy. Chad Billingsley said he will throw breaking balls Saturday for the first time since Tommy John surgery last year.
Infielder Miguel Rojas was removed from the exhibition game against the White Sox with a contusion below the knee caused when he fouled off a pitch.
Ryu more comfortable with Dodgers this spring
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- With Zack Greinke's calf injury, chances increase that Hyun-Jin Ryu will start one of the Dodgers' season-opening games in Australia.
Well-schooled on the suddenly controversial trip, Ryu said he'll do whatever manager Don Mattingly asks.
On Friday, Mattingly asked Ryu to make his first exhibition start, and the lefty responded with two scoreless innings. It is Ryu's second spring with the Dodgers, and he said he's more comfortable this time around.
He's also the club's resident expert on trans-Pacific jet lag, so he had this advice for his teammates.
"It depends on the individual, but it usually takes about a week for the body to adjust," Ryu said. "The best thing to do is not sleep in the day or take a nap. Just play."
Ryu allowed two hits without a walk to the White Sox. He was most pleased with his command, agreeing that he reported to camp in much better physical shape than a year ago.
"Last year, I didn't know what to expect. This year I'm more comfortable," he said.
The lefty said his goal for this year, aside from the team winning a championship, is to stay healthy. Ryu pitched 192 innings in 2013, and stayed off the disabled list, skipping one start after taking a batted ball off his foot.
The Dodgers' bullpen followed Ryu with seven scoreless innings. Brian Wilson, Kenley Jansen, Chris Perez, J.P. Howell and winning pitcher Jamey Wright had one each. Matt Magill pitched two frames for the save.
Dodgers sign pair out of open tryout to Minors deals
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Dodgers signed right-handed pitchers Danny Keller and Steve Edlefsen to Minor League contracts out of Thursday's open tryout.
Keller was in the Milwaukee farm system from 2011-13 after being a sixth-round pick out of Newbury Park High School in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.
Edlefsen pitched seven seasons in the San Francisco system and made 27 relief appearances in the Major Leagues from 2011-12, posting an 0-1 record with a 6.75 ERA. He was a 16th-round pick in 2007.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.