Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Greinke’s name was listed among those expected to throw a bullpen session at Tuesday’s first workout for pitchers and catchers. That won’t happen, manager Torey Lovullo said, stressing that there’s no reason to worry about the club’s high-priced ace.
With an extra week built into this year’s spring training schedule due to the World Baseball Classic, the Diamondbacks plan to “slow-play” Greinke in preparation for Opening Day on April 2, Lovullo said.
“We don’t need to get ready for Day 1 of spring training,” Lovullo said. “We need to get ready for Day 1 of this championship season.”
He stressed that Greinke, who struggled to stay healthy at times last season, is not nursing any injuries. Greinke missed six weeks last season with a left oblique strain, then missed his final two starts of the year with a sore shoulder.
“Zack is ready to go,” Lovullo said. “He has a program that he’s been following. He finished the year a little bit banged up last year. We have the extra week and a half. In the past, I’ve seen organizations do the exact same thing. Most notably, the Boston Red Sox slow-played a number of guys with the extra time.
“He knows himself better than any pitcher I’ve had a chance to talk to. He just knows that he wants to throw it a little bit later in the week.”
Meet the media
Lovullo’s comments were made at his first media session of the month on Monday, the day pitchers and catchers were scheduled to report to Salt River Fields.
Among the more newsworthy items Lovullo revealed:
- Closer Fernando Rodney is going to be a late arrival at camp. He is being delayed by visa issues. But Lovullo said Rodney is expected to arrive sometime this week.
- Though Yasmany Tomas played mostly right field late in the season, the club is planning to revert to the outfield alignment it had at the beginning of last season with Tomas in left, A.J. Pollock in center and David Peralta in right.
- Lovullo mentioned the club having “six starters” before circling back and saying he didn’t want to rule out other contenders. The likely six he was referring to: Greinke, Robbie Ray, Taijuan Walker, Patrick Corbin, Shelby Miller and Archie Bradley. “Everybody knows we have six starters right now,” Lovullo said. “That depth is a credit to this organization.” Others who could be angling for jobs include right-handers Braden Shipley and Matt Koch.