After initially being expected to miss eight weeks following a fractured collarbone that he suffered in a brawl with Carlos Quentin last month, Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Zack Greinke will make his return to the team tonight against the Nationals after just four and a half weeks on the shelf.
The Dodgers have struggled this season and are currently 6.5 games out of first place in the NL West and are in last place in the division. Since Greinke's injury on April 11th, the team has scuffled to a 10-19 record and has also lost Chad Billingsley to season-ending Tommy John surgery. Rookie Matt Magill has not performed well in three starts since Greinke's injury, posting a 6.92 ERA in 13 innings, walking ten and striking out 11. Combine that with disappointing performances from Chris Capuano since being activated from the DL and Ted Lilly's two subpar starts before being placed back on the DL, and Greinke's return couldn't come any sooner for the Dodgers.
With Los Angeles scheduled for seven games with the Braves, three with the Cardinals, and four with the Angels over the next 24 games, they're going to need all hands on deck. Greinke, Clayton Kershaw, and Hyun-Jin Ryu will give the Dodgers a pretty fearsome top of the rotation, especially if all pitch like they're capable of.