In the first year of a six-year, $206.5 million deal with Arizona, Zack Greinke failed to meet understandably lofty expectations. Expecting a repeat of 2015 (1.66 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 19 wins, 200 strikeouts) was unrealistic, but Greinke's 4.37 ERA was his worst since his 2005 rookie season, and his 1.27 WHIP was his worst since 2008. Injuries to his oblique and shoulder played a role, as Greinke only made 26 starts and tossed just 158.2 innings, his lowest total since 2007. The move from Dodger Stadium to the more hitter-friendly Chase Field likely had an impact, as did swapping a top-third defense for a bottom-third defense. We might not see the pitcher who dazzled in three seasons with the Dodgers, but the Diamondbacks and his fantasy owners should expect more from Greinke in 2017. Given his track record, a rebound seems likely, and he could come at a slight discount given his subpar 2016. He's still a very valuable fantasy asset.
Greinke threw five innings on a back field Monday and topped out at 91 mph, Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic reports. Although it wasn't a Cactus League matchup, Greinke's increase in velocity from his previous outing last week is encouraging. Keep in mind he's working on a different schedule from last year, so the drop in velocity compared to this time last year is slightly less concerning as he may still be building up strength over the final two-plus weeks of spring training. It's still a situation worth monitoring, nonetheless.
Greinke's fastball topped out at 89.5 mph during his second start of the spring Wednesday, the Arizona Republic reports. By comparison, he topped 93 mph in his second start of the spring last season. Greinke started his throwing program later than usual because the D-backs allowed him to make his own schedule. The reason for the adjustment isn't entirely clear, but Greinke's reduced velocity Wednesday led to hard contact in the first inning, but he settled in somewhat as the outing progressed. Keep a close eye on Greinke's velocity numbers this spring, as a rebound from his disappointing first season in the desert is less likely if his arsenal has eroded.
Manager Torey Lovullo named Greinke the D-backs' Opening Day starter Wednesday, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports. The news comes as no surprise; Greinke is still considered the ace of the staff even after his disappointing 2016 campaign. The right-hander has been taking it easy this spring as he recovers from a season-ending shoulder injury, but is expected to make his first Cactus League start Friday against the Dodgers. After posting a career-best 1.66 ERA in 2015, Greinke slumped to a dismal 4.37 last year, a stat he'll aim to improve upon in his 14th major league season. Expect the three-time All-Star to be back in form and ready for action within the coming weeks.
Greinke threw his first live batting practice of spring training Friday, Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic reports. Greinke is in the midst of a "slow-played" spring camp as he makes his way back from a season-ending shoulder injury. The 33-year-old reportedly threw 20 pitches under supervision and said he felt everything went well, so expect him to ramp up activity in the coming weeks. Greinke is coming off a rough first season with Arizona, in which he posted a 4.37 ERA while serving up 23 home runs.
Manager Terry Lovullo said that Greinke (shoulder) is fully healthy but will take things slow this spring, Nick Piecoro of AZCentral Sports reports. The right-handed ace sat out the end of the season with a shoulder injury, but the Diamondbacks are confident that he'll be 100 percent for Opening Day. They'll still take the cautious approach with their stud pitcher, but Greinke seems to be good to go to try and rebound from last year's down campaign.