Greinke not fan of Australia games

Updated: February 22, 2014, 3:16 PM ET
By Mark Saxon | ESPNLosAngeles.com

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Opening their season in Australia more than a week ahead of 28 other teams is causing the Los Angeles Dodgers some headaches, particularly when they try to line up their pitching.

Zack Greinke, who likely would pitch the second of two games at the Sydney Cricket Ground against the Arizona Diamondbacks, is far from enthused at the prospect.

"I would say there is absolutely zero excitement for it," Greinke told ESPNLosAngeles.com. "There just isn't any excitement to it. I can't think of one reason to be excited for it."

The Dodgers, who are trying to control ace Clayton Kershaw's workload, have considered holding Kershaw out of the games in Australia so they could use him in the United States opener on March 30, as well as in their home opener on April 4.

Kershaw could pitch all three games on at least four days' rest, but Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said the team doesn't want him to throw that many innings so early.

Kershaw, 25, pitched a career-high 259 innings last season, including the playoffs.

The Australian games are to be played on March 22 and 23. Because the Dodgers break camp on March 16, they'll play roughly 10 to 15 fewer Cactus League games than in a typical spring. For the starting pitchers, that means two or three fewer starts to get ready, followed by extra rest after their season-opening starter.

Greinke said he's willing to pitch in Australia and understands why those games were scheduled.

"It's a baseball thing. It's an ownership thing, spreading stuff around," Greinke said. "That's what it's for and it's for the greater good of baseball."

Mark Saxon

ESPNLosAngeles.com
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.

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