Daily Distractions: Qualifying offers trickling in, Elian Herrera claimed by Milwaukee Brewers, etc.

Hiroki Kuroda

Former Dodgers pitcher Hiroki Kuroda received a qualifying offer worth $14.1 million from the New York Yankees today. (Getty Images)

It’s been a busy day for qualifying offers around the majors. Among the names reported today to have received the $14.1 million offers for 2014: Robinson Cano, Hiroki Kuroda, Curtis Granderson, Jacoby Ellsbury, Stephen Drew, Mike Napoli, Carlos Beltran, Ubaldo Jimenez, Brian McCann and Kendrys Morales.

All those players could be off the market by tomorrow if they accept the qualifying offer.

If they don’t, and certainly not all will, the Dodgers and 28 other teams are faced with a choice: Sign the player as a free agent, or sacrifice a 2014 first-round draft pick. For a team like the Dodgers, who have a handful of high-level prospects but not many more tradeable assets in their farm system, that’s a difficult and expensive signing to justify. Cano is arguably the only elite player on that list and the Dodgers aren’t expected to make a run at him.

The others — some of whom made my short list of players to watch — just made themselves a little less attractive to the Dodgers.

A few bullet points for a Panamanian Flag Day:
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Zack Greinke (elbow) out; Hyun-Jin Ryu will start for Dodgers against Brewers.

Zack Greinke

Zack Greinke will fly to Los Angeles today to have his right elbow examined by team Dr. Neal ElAttrache.

The team said that Greinke experienced “mild irritation” in the back of his elbow while throwing on Sunday and “does not feel 100 percent comfortable” in the elbow. He threw a full bullpen without pain Friday.

Hyun-Jin Ryu, who was scheduled to relieve Greinke against the Milwaukee Brewers, will start instead. The game is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.

Update: Don Mattingly said that an MRI on Greinke’s elbow came back clean and the pitcher said he could make his scheduled start if he wanted to. “If something serious was going on,” Mattingly said, “it’d be a shocker.”

Update 2 (2:38 p.m.): Dr. ElAttrache confirmed the diagnosis of inflammation in the back of the right elbow. Greinke received an injection of platelet-rich plasma and anti-inflammatory medication. He will rest for 2 to 3 days and then return to a progressive throwing program.

Brewers 9, Dodgers 4; Dodgers 6, Cubs 3.

Tempers flared in a loss to the Brewers in Glendale, and the Dodgers rapped out 11 hits to beat the Cubs in Mesa, in the team’s final day of split-squad action in spring training.

Both benches were warned in the sixth inning of a 9-4 loss to Milwaukee after Dodgers starter Chris Capuano threw a pitch behind Ryan Braun. That followed a series of hit batters –one (Norichika Aoki) by Capuano and two (Jerry Hairston Jr. and Juan Rivera) by Milwaukee pitchers earlier in the game.

That was the end of the drama, however, and the Brewers scored eight runs over the final three innings to erase a 4-2 deficit.

Capuano allowed two hits, one (earned) run on a solo shot by Braun, walked one and struck out seven in six innings. His Cactus League ERA stands at 2.75. Matt Guerrier relieved him in the seventh inning and gave up a 3-run home run to the first batter he faced, Brooks Conrad, in his first game since March 11.

Guerrier was actually pitching his third game in five days, including minor-league games, and afterward declared himself free of any back pain and healthy to start the season.

“As far as I am concerned, (the injury) was over a week ago,” he said.

The Brewers’ Carlos Gomez hit a three-run home run off losing pitcher Jamey Wright in the seventh inning. Todd Coffey gave up three hits and four runs — none earned, thanks to a Jake Lemmerman error –in two-thirds of an inning. His spring ERA ballooned to 7.71.

Andre Ethier doubled and homered in four at-bats, giving him 15 extra-base hits among his 18 this spring.
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Dodgers 7, Brewers 6.

The Dodgers got three hits from Dee Gordon, two from Mark Ellis and Matt Kemp, and overcame a rocky start before an announced crowd of 6,348 at Camelback Ranch. [box score]

Starter Chad Billingsley pitched 4 2/3 innings and allowed five hits, three runs (all earned), walked two and struck out four. He also issued a wild pitch and left with the score tied 3-3. He threw 86 pitches — more than any Dodgers starter this spring — and 57 went for strikes.

The right-hander served up a two-run home run to Brooks Conrad in the second inning on a curveball, though Billingsley said the pitch was otherwise working well for him. “I was executing pitches, missing some of them,” he said. “You win some, you lose some.”

Andre Ethier hit his second home run of the spring, a two-run blast in the fifth inning, giving him 10 extra-base hits among 11 this spring. He is hitting .440. Ellis’ sixth-inning double down the left-field line drove in the Dodgers’ sixth and seventh runs.

A few more notes:
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Postgame: Dodgers 7, Brewers 4

The Dodgers beat the Brewers 7-4 today in the finale of the first half of the season. For a full recap and boxscore click here.

THE BARE ESSENTIALS:

Dodger starter Clayton Kershaw continued his utter dominance of late, going 6+ strong innings and allowing only two hits and one run. Hiroki Kuroda came in in relief and allowed three runs of his own and Kershaw’s run. Unbelievably, Kershaw now has the best ERA on the staff and the 18th best in the majors at 3.16.

Matt Kemp had his first hitless game since July 1 — striking out twice and leaving 5 men on in four at-bats — but Orlando Hudson picked up the slack, hitting two solo homers.

The Dodgers’ offensive effort off of a solid starter in Milwaukee’s Yovani Gallardo was impressive: six hits and four walks in five innings. They scored five times off of him.

Manny is the same old Manny, in case you were wondering. 3-for-3 and a walk puts him at a .308/.400/.654 clip since he came back.

ETC…ETC:

Brad Ausmus went deep for his first homer of the season. That makes the Dodgers’ season total of home runs from behind the plate three.

James Loney was solid, hitting two base knocks to drive in runs. He’s two behind Andre Ethier for the team lead in RBI with 54. Casey Blake has 55 as well.

James McDonald and Ramon Troncoso pitched well in relief, going 1 2/3 scoreless.

ON DECK:

The Dodgers will take a three-day break before hosting Houston for a four-game set beginning Thursday. Randy Wolf is scheduled to make the start.

Postgame: Brewers 6, Dodgers 3

The Brewers beat the Dodgers 6-3 tonight at Miller Park. For a full recap and boxscore click here.

THE BARE ESSENTIALS:

Dodger starter Jeff Weaver went just 3 1/3 innings in what Joe Torre called his worst outing of the year. Still, Weaver was only charged with two earned runs due to a throwing error by Rafael Furcal in the first.

Although he struck out seven in five innings, Brewers starter Mike Burns definitely wasn’t fooling the Dodgers. Still, he got the job done and three Milwaukee relievers combined to toss four scoreless innings.

No one really shined offensively for the Dodgers, as no player had more than one hit. Only Russell Martin and Orlando Hudson were held hitless.

All three LA runs came in the fifth on back-to-back jacks by Rafael Furcal and Andre Ethier.

ETC…ETC:

Scott Elbert — fresh off a call-up from Albuquerque (with Blake DeWitt being sent down — pitched wonderfully, going 2 2/3 hitless while allowing only one walk.

Jonathan Broxton’s going to miss the All-Star Game with a toe injury.

The Dodgers couldn’t get to Brewers closer Trevor Hoffman this time, as the 41-year-old saved his 20th in 1-2-3 fashion after blowing a save last night.

ON DECK:

The Dodgers attempt to win the series in Milwaukee, sending out lefthander Clayton Kershaw (6-5, 3.27) to face Brewers ace Yovani Gallardo (8-6, 2.95) in an 11:05 AM PST start.

Postgame: Dodgers 12, Brewers 8

The Dodgers beat the Brewers 12-8 in 10 innings tonight at Miller Park. For a full recap and boxscore click here.

THE BARE ESSENTIALS:

And what a game that was, as the Dodgers rallied to tie the score in the ninth off Trevor Hoffman and then put up six in the tenth to open the game up, only to have the Brewers put up a mini-rally in the bottom of the tenth off Jonathan Broxton. Still, the Blue came away with the win.

It was the Matt Kemp show tonight, as the snubbed center fielder went 3-for-5, including a masterful bunt for a base hit in the ninth and grand slam in the tenth. That’s not to mention his Willie Mays-esque catch to end the game, running with his head turned towards the wall but still managing to make the grab.

Chad Billingsley struggled, lasting only 5+ and allowing five runs on five hits and four walks. He raised his ERA to 3.37 heading into the all-star break.

Jonathan Broxton wasn’t great either, giving up two runs in the tenth inning in his first appearance since Sunday. It wasn’t a save situation, though. An indicator: Broxton didn’t strike out any of the seven batters he faced.

ETC…ETC.

Five homers for the Dodgers tonight, the most they’ve had in a game since the epic back-to-back-to-back-to-back home run game against San Diego on September 18, 2006. You may remember that Hoffman was the partial culprit in the game as well.

Home run hitters included Andre Ethier, Manny Ramirez, James Loney, Russell Martin and Kemp.

Solid relief turned in by Guillermo Mota (allowed only one runner to score when he inherited a bases-loaded, no-out situation, Ramon Troncoso (a scoreless inning and two thirds), and Cory Wade (another scoreless inning).

ON DECK:

The Dodgers continue the three-game set in Milwaukee, sending RHP Jeff Weaver (5-2, 3.32) for his first start since June against Brewers RHP Mike Burns (1-2, 5.57) at 4:05 PST.