Greinke has no 'structural damage' to arm

October 7th, 2020

Astros manager Dusty Baker said Wednesday veteran right-hander Zack Greinke was told by a doctor there was nothing wrong structurally with him after coming down with arm soreness in recent days. Still, Baker wouldn’t say if Greinke would be available to pitch if the American League Division Series stretches beyond Wednesday’s scheduled Game 3 against the A’s at Dodger Stadium.

Baker said Greinke, who came down with arm soreness recently, threw off flat ground at Dodger Stadium following Game 2 on Tuesday and did well, according to pitching coach Brent Strom.

“He felt better about that,” Baker said.

There remains a chance the Astros could start Greinke if there is a Game 4 on Thursday, but Baker said the best-case scenario was trying to close out the A’s and give Greinke more time off. Cristian Javier may be a candidate to pitch in Game 4, though he threw an inning in relief in Game 1.

“I’m hoping that we win today’s game and then we’ll have a few days off to rehab and try to feel better before the next one,” Baker said. “We’ve got to win this game first.”

Greinke started Game 1 of the AL Wild Card Series on Sept. 29, but was lifted after allowing one run on two hits and three walks in four innings. The 36-year-old faded late in the season, posting a 5.73 ERA over his final seven starts, including giving up at least three runs in each of those outings dating back to Aug. 23.

Paredes ruled out for Game 3
After saying he wanted to stay away from rookie right-handed reliever Enoli Paredes in Game 2, Baker wound up throwing him in the eighth inning of Tuesday’s win -- his second consecutive day of work. With that in mind, Baker said prior to Game 3 that Paredes would “for sure” be out Wednesday.

It remained to be seen if closer Ryan Pressly was going to be available after throwing 26 pitches between Games 1 and 2. Pressly’s status wouldn’t be known until he played catch in the outfield, which was set to happen after media availability.

“I’m preparing to pitch like it’s a normal day,” Pressly said. “I have to get my body ready and go out there and play catch and go from there.”

The Astros have avoided throwing any pitcher in three consecutive games in the regular and postseason, which has helped keep their arms a bit fresher for the playoffs.

“A lot of these guys in the bullpen are young and they want to take the ball every single day, but they know how to manage their throwing programs before the game and they know how to get hot down in the bullpen without overdoing it,” Pressly said. “A lot of it has been more so on the guys and how they’ve been throwing, how many pitches they’ve thrown throughout the day. They’ve been managing that pretty well, and it’s kept them pretty fresh. So it’s helped out in the long run, but also knowing their bodies and how to control the amount of pitches that they throw in a day is also a big help, too.”

Worth noting
• Right-hander Brad Peacock underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder Tuesday, the Astros announced. Peacock, who began the season on the injured list, was limited to just three appearances in 2020 due to shoulder soreness. The longest tenured member of the pitching staff, Peacock will be a free agent at season’s end.

• Right-hander Joe Biagini, who was designated for assignment Sept. 29, has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Round Rock. Biagini can accept the assignment or decline and elect free agency. Biagini appeared in four games for the Astros in the regular season and allowed 10 earned runs and 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings.