3/12/2014 8:47 P.M. ET
After two-inning return, Greinke has 'ways to go'
Dodgers righty hoping calf will be ready for start in first stateside series
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke was happier with his calf than his pitching Wednesday as he returned to game action nearly two weeks after injuring his lower right leg.
Greinke -- who allowed three runs on six hits in two innings to the split-squad D-backs -- acknowledged that the injury has proved worse than he originally believed. It happened on the fourth pitch of his only other start.
"I'd thought I'd be fine that day, like 100 percent in a day or two," he said. "It just hasn't gotten better, it's a 10 percent pace from what I was expecting. You know it's there. If I did more than I'm ready to do, I'd be right back where I started. But it's getting better every day and that's the key."
He said he only cut loose on the last two pitches of his outing, but he wasn't sure if his additional intensity was from the push-off or arm speed.
He said "ideally" he will be ready to pitch in the Dodgers' series in San Diego (March 30 and April 1-2) after they return from Australia and play a three-game exhibition series with the Angels, "but there's still a ways to go."
"Everybody had to get ready faster for Australia," he said. "I have to get ready for the American games. I've just got to get ready as fast as I can without a setback."
Next week, he figures to be one of the Dodgers' three "exempt" players that can be activated for the Padres series. He will be limited to pitching in Minor League games while the Dodgers are abroad, then possibly an appearance in the Freeway Series.
Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu will start the two games in Australia against Arizona.
Greinke said he was "disappointed" with his elevated location Wednesday, leading to a home run by Andy Marte and multiple line drives.
"It happens to me a lot early in Spring Training," he said. "It's really frustrating. It happens when I'm tired. I can't help it, even when I'm trying not to do it. It's my arm not being in shape, I guess."
Greinke threw 14 additional pitches in the bullpen. He said he prefers exhibition game action to bullpen sessions or simulated games.
"Those are awful," he said. "It's not the same. You make a mistake in those, they miss a lot. In the game, you get hit a lot harder. Same with the pitchers, they're not quite into it in a side session or live batting practice."
The D-backs' lineup lacked regulars, and Greinke said he wouldn't have minded if Paul Goldschmidt had made the trip.
"I've heard of all the guys [in the lineup]," he said. "It would have been nice for a Goldschmidt, but I wouldn't want to face the whole lineup."
Core relievers, except Wilson, work on day's rest
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers reliever Brian Wilson on Wednesday, for the first time this spring, did not appear in the same game with Kenley Jansen, J.P. Howell and Chris Perez. Previously, all four appeared in the same game each of their five appearances.
Two days earlier, Wilson threw a pitch that alarmed pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, resulting in a mound visit by manager Don Mattingly and assistant trainer Greg Harrel.
Wilson remained in that game without taking a warmup pitch. He allowed two runs on two hits and was removed after one-third of an inning when he reached a 15-pitch limit. After the game, Mattingly said Wilson was fine.
Wednesday would have been the first time Wilson would have pitched on only one day of rest, as it was for Jansen, Howell and Perez.
Wilson signed with the Dodgers last summer after recovering from his second Tommy John operation and was re-signed over the winter for $10 million to set up for Jansen.
Sprained thumb could nix next start for Beckett
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers pitcher Josh Beckett is questionable to make his Friday start because of a sprained right thumb.
Beckett, who has not had a setback this spring from thoracic outlet syndrome surgery, said he suffered the injury to the outside of his thumb when it was caught in a closing clubhouse door about 10 days ago. Beckett has had previous problems with the inside ligament of the thumb.
"I come back from thoracic outlet surgery and this happens," he said in frustration.
In his last start Saturday night, Beckett was charged with five runs in three innings, allowing three home runs.
Beckett struggled through a bullpen session on Wednesday, restricted to throwing fastballs. As the fifth starter, Beckett is not expected to make a regular-season start for the Dodgers until the middle of April because of numerous days off in the schedule.
"We've got time to get it right," he said.
Call upheld at second after Dodgers challenge
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Dodgers lost a challenge review on Wednesday in their 9-2 loss to the D-backs.
In the top of the fifth inning with one out and runners on the corners, second-base umpire Mike DiMuro ruled Didi Gregorius safe on a steal. Tim Wallach, acting manager with Don Mattingly out of camp after a death in the family, lodged a challenge for a replay review.
The replay appeared to show that shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who took catcher A.J. Ellis' throw, blocked the bag with his foot and tagged Gregorius as he overslid and came off the bag.
But after communicating with replay officials, crew chief Brian Gorman upheld the original safe call.
"It was worth challenging at that point in the game," said Wallach.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.