The American League West an the National League West really aren't all that different. Forget about the designated hitter for a second and consider the equalities among the teams. You can pretty much find a team that mirrors another in both leagues. The Dodgers/Angels, the Giants/Rangers, the Diamondbacks/A's, the Rockies/Mariners, and the Padres/Astros.Ok, so maybe it's not a perfect comparison - the Padres and the Astros are not the same. The Astros are far worse. But those match ups probably equate to the final NL West and AL West standings.
Here are your west notes:
- Zack Greinke and his inflamed elbow may not be ready for Opening Day. The Dodgers will not be completely lost without Greinke, but having to pay him as much as they will while he sits on the bench will hurt. The Dodgers have enough pitching depth to get around Greinke's injury, but it would be nice to know when he'll come back. As it stands now, there is no timetable for Greinke's return.
- To help combat the issues with Greinke's elbow, the team is hoping plasma injections will help. Ken Gurnick of MLB.com says the Dodgers have seen the benefits of platelet-rich plasma injection with other pitchers on their staff and they hope Greinke will get some benefit from the procedure.
- Danny Hultzen is the second-best prospect in the Mariners organization according to MLB.com. However, he has been sidelined with an injury. Well, Hultzen returned today and looked sharp. Hultzen pitched one inning, didn't allow a run, and gave up one hit. Hultzen is progressing through the team's system and is not far off from making his Major League debut.
- Albert Pujols is once again battling an injury, but he looks to be ready to contribute come Opening Day. Pujols has been playing games for about a week now, and he is making process every day. For the first time this spring, Pujols was able to run the bases. He had been lifted for a pinch-runner in previous games.
- Tim Lincecum struggled last year, but that can't happen again this year, right? He lost his starting job at the end of the season, but that can't happen again, can it? Maybe it can. Rob Neyer will not be fooled again.