ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Diamondbacks’ Zack Greinke: My groin is pretty good

Mar 21, 2018, 8:40 PM
(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)...
(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – It had been seven days since Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Greinke last pitched in a game. And granted Wednesday’s outing was an intrasquad game, the results were encouraging, if for no other reason than Greinke showed no effects from a groin injury.

“My groin is pretty good, at the moment,” he said.

Facing mainly minor leaguers, Greinke went 2.2 innings — he got up-and-down four times, recording a total of eight outs — allowing one run on three hits, all of them singles, with three walks and three strikeouts. Two of the three walks were issued to catcher Chris Herrmann.

Greinke threw 60 pitches, 34 for strikes.

“It was alright. Got some outs,” he said.

And that was all Greinke was willing to say about his appearance on one of the backfields at Salt River Fields. Though to be fair, he’s never been all that talkative to begin with.

Manager Torey Lovullo, who along with pitching coach Mike Butcher watched from behind home plate, did go into detail.

“I haven’t seen any (radar gun) readings. I don’t know how hard (the fastball) was, but he started to get on his velocity a little bit in his last inning of work, and then he was throwing all pitches,” Lovullo said, before the D-backs hosted the San Francisco Giants in a rare Cactus League night game.

“They weren’t perfect. We know that, and Zack is exceptional with all pitches. So, was it a typical Zack outing? No, but we didn’t expect it to be. He was coming off of a situation where he missed a couple of days so the fact that he got out there and executed a gameplan and walked off the mound healthy, that was very important to all of us.”

Greinke exited his last start on March 14 complaining of tightness in his right groin. He was scheduled to pitch five innings but he and the D-backs pulled the plug after just one, choosing to err on the side of caution.

From the beginning, Lovullo called the injury “very minimal” and maintained that description even though Greinke will not be the team’s Opening Day starter, as he has been each of the previous two seasons.

“My gut feel is if he had two starts left in the season, he probably would’ve gutted it out and made them,” Lovullo said. “But, credit to him that he spoke up and we got ahead of it and stayed on top of it.”

Twice, once while Greinke was pitching and then once Greinke was done, Lovullo asked his ace how he felt. Both times, Lovullo said, Greinke answered that he felt good.

Provided that is again the case when the D-backs and Greinke reconvene in the morning, then, and only then, will Greinke’s next start be scheduled.

At the moment, Greinke is in line to pitch next Monday in the D-backs’ exhibition game against Cleveland at Chase Field. That, in turn, would then slot him to start the finale of the season-opening, three-game series with Colorado on March 31.

“I don’t want to get too far ahead of this and say that, that is a definite right now,” Lovullo said. “Zack’s health is the most important thing to me and this organization right now.”

BASE HITS

— In addition to Greinke, relievers Brad Boxberger, Archie Bradley and Jorge De La Rosa made scoreless appearances in the intrasquad game.

Boxberger walked two in his one inning of work; Bradley, too, went one inning, allowing one hit with one walk and one strikeout; while De La Rosa’s line included one walk and one strikeout in two-thirds of an inning.

— Asked once again who the D-backs’ Opening Day starter will be, Lovullo, again, chose not to tip his hand.

“It’s coming down the pipe here,” he said, smiling. “We’re probably a couple of days. Maybe—it’ll be before the weekend, that’s for darn sure.”

Lovullo did add that, besides Greinke, no other starter had been ruled out for the honor.

— The D-backs hope to have catcher Jeff Mathis, who’s been battling back tightness, playing in a game again sooner rather than later.

“He is having very, very good days and initiated just about all baseball-activity today,” Lovullo said. “We had to pull him back from the field. He wanted to go out there and do as much as he possibly could. He said he felt as good as he has in quite some time and like he could have played. That’s a good sign.”

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