LOS ANGELES -- With his left arm in a sling on Wednesday afternoon in the Dodgers' clubhouse, starter Zack Greinke said he regrets not telling catcher A.J. Ellis about his history with Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin, information that may have prevented the broken left collarbone Greinke sustained during Thursday's benches-clearing incident in San Diego.
When Greinke hit Quentin with a 3-2 pitch in the sixth inning of a one-run game, Ellis didn't think the outfielder would be inclined to charge the mound. The catcher didn't know it was the third time Greinke had hit Quentin with a pitch in his career, and therefore didn't jump out of his stance to block Quentin's path to the mound.
Ellis said he's feeling guilty for not protecting his starter, who underwent surgery to repair his broken collarbone on Saturday.
Greinke and Quentin first had issues in July 2008, when Greinke first hit Quentin with a pitch. At that time, Greinke pitched for the Royals and Quentin played for the rival White Sox.
"I told A.J. that I should have told him," Greinke said before Wednesday night's game against the Padres. "I knew anyone with the White Sox has always labeled me as someone that does stuff. I didn't think it would happen. Looking back on it, I probably should have warned him, because I know he would feel a lot better about it."
Greinke also regrets lowering his left shoulder to absorb the impact of the charging Quentin, 6-foot-2 and 240 pounds.
"It's just one of those things that you think about how you'd react when the time comes, but when the time came you're not really thinking straight and you're just kind of reacting," Greinke said. "I would never have planned on doing it that way, that's for sure. I definitely wish I didn't. Everything I do, my natural reaction is to avoid my right arm. So at least I was smart enough to do that. Obviously it wasn't the best way to do it."
Greinke is likely to be sidelined until mid-June. He has a metal plate in his collarbone that's stabilizing the fracture, and wears a sling most days.
"It's healing quickly, I feel like," Greinke said. "I'm just doing what I can to get healthy as soon as possible and be as strong as possible when I come back."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter and Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.