It certainly appears 2016 was an outlier as even with that tumultuous campaign, Zack Greinke's 2.93 ERA over the past three seasons is fourth best among starters with at least 500 innings pitched. The primary reason for Greinke's bounce-back season was a sharp increase in strikeout rate (9.6 K/9), supported by a career-best swinging strike rate (12.4 percent). Greinke's velocity dropped a tick while his overall pitch mix was fundamentally the same. He threw fewer first-pitch strikes, also throwing fewer overall strikes. Perhaps it was sequencing or just confidence after spending a year in the desert, but Greinke's change and slider were much better pitches his second season with the Diamondbacks. He's still a fantasy ace, but at 34, with a lot of mileage on his arm, it's best to expect a give-back in terms of strikeouts. Though, with the humidor installed at Chase Field, any ERA correction from fewer whiffs should be mitigated with a subsequent drop in homers.
Greinke (groin) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Sunday, Zach Buchanan of The Athletic Arizona reports. Greinke is currently dealing with a bout of groin tightness that he picked up during his previous spring start. While the issue isn't thought to be anything overly serious, it's expected to push his next start back by a little bit, which would make pitching on Opening Day unlikely. Barring any setbacks in his bullpen Sunday, Greinke could be cleared to return to game action shortly thereafter. A clearer timetable for the veteran should emerge once he returns to Cactus League action, but as it stands now, he's loosely lined up to pitch one of the games during the first week of the season.
Greinke (groin) will likely push back his next start, which could make pitching on Opening Day out of reach, Zach Buchanan of The Athletic Arizona reports. The ace is reportedly feeling better Thursday. However, the Diamondbacks appear to be taking things slowly with him. The team won't likely push Greinke just to be ready for the season opener, but it doesn't seem like a trip to the disabled list will be necessary as things stand now. He may be pushed back to pitch one of the other games during the first week, meaning there shouldn't be much concern on his status for the regular season unless he aggravates this issue in his subsequent spring starts.
There is currently no plan for Greinke to get any tests done on his groin, Zach Buchanan of The Athletic Arizona reports. Greinke, who was scheduled to pitch five innings during Wednesday's Cactus League contest, exited in the second inning with right groin tightness. Fortunately, the issue isn't thought to be anything overly serious, and manager Torey Lovullo said he remains optimistic that Greinke will be ready to go for the start of the season. Consider the 34-year-old righty day-to-day at this point.
Greinke did not come out for the second inning of Wednesday's Cactus League game against the Reds due to right groin tightness. Greinke was scheduled to go five innings Wednesday but was removed in favor of Albert Suarez after a 19-pitch first inning. The right-hander should be considered day-to-day until the team releases more information on his status in the coming hours/days.
Greinke's fastball was clocked in the 84-86 mph range in the first inning of Thursday's spring start, Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic reports. He was down in the mid-80s in last week's simulated game as well, but his velocity was reportedly fairly normal in his first Cactus League outing. This is a unique situation, as Greinke is a rare ace who doesn't exert close to maximum effort when he throws his fastball, and he dealt with some velocity issues this time last year as well. Piecoro notes that Greinke had trouble cracking 90 mph early last spring, but according to Brooks Baseball, Greinke averaged 90.2 mph on 40 fourseam fastballs that were tracked through the first two weeks of spring training in 2017. If any pitcher deserves the benefit of the doubt in a situation like this, it's Greinke, but it's still alarming to see a pitcher who is being drafted as a low-end SP1 throwing in the mid-80s. It's obviously a situation to monitor going forward. This news will result in Greinke falling in drafts, for better or worse.