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ESPN writer lists Zack Greinke as D-back most primed for comeback season

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zack Greinke (21) waits on a new baseball after giving up a lead-off home run to San Francisco Giants' Denard Span, background left, during the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

It does not take a rocket scientist to tell you why the possibility of a comeback season for Zack Greinke in 2017 makes a whole lot of sense.

Greinke was one of the best pitchers in baseball for his three years in Los Angeles prior to his big move to Arizona. His ERAs in that span were 2.63, 2.71 and 1.66, making any expectations of him being less than a dominant ace for the Diamondbacks in 2017 foolish.

His season snowballed from Opening Day, when Greinke had one of the worst outings of his career, and – after a scintillating 1.63 ERA in June – his troubles arose again in the last two months of the season. The star pitcher finished with a 4.37 ERA, his worst since 2005.

While Greinke may never reach that sub-two ERA again, he seems more than capable of improving on his 2016 season.

ESPN’s Bradford Doolitle believes he better for the sake of his $206.5 million total price.

Greinke’s contract pays him more per season than any player in history. You’d think such a player would be coming off an epic season. That may or may not be true of Greinke. If so, it was epic for all the wrong reasons. His ERA skyrocketed from 1.66 to 4.37, his strikeout rate fell and his homer rate soared. He’s due to earn 35 percent of the Diamondbacks’ reported salary budget for this season, so obviously, they need him to bounce back in a big way.

The D-backs begin Spring Training on Feb. 22 against Grand Canyon University. Opening Day is on April 2 against the San Francisco Giants on ESPN.

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