It has been something of a trying spring for Diamondbacks ace Zack Greinke. As Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic writes, the venerable starter is unlikely to be ready to take the ball on Opening Day — though that isn’t necessarily the primary concern for the organization. The more important consideration, surely, is to ensure that Greinke does not end up with a bigger problem after experiencing what the team is characterizing as minor groin tightness. Greinke was already laboring with sluggish fastball velocity, but it seems the team is generally still optimistic that he’ll be at full strength for the bulk of the coming season.
Here’s more from out west:
- The D-Backs are seeing renewed promise in young righty Yoan Lopez, Piecoro further writes. It’s an interesting look at the winding path that Lopez has taken since he signed a $8.25MM deal as an international free agent — a contract that cost the team double that amount and also put it in the penalty box for the ensuing two signing periods. The Cuban hurler pitched last year at the High-A level, allowing just three earned runs on 16 hits in 31 2/3 frames while recording a shiny 59:10 K/BB ratio. Beyond the results, Lopez has impressed with his stuff and a new attitude; it’ll certainly be interesting to see if he’s able to push for a chance at the majors at some point in the near future.
- The Padres are no longer considering Jordan Lyles for their rotation, MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell tweets. The veteran righty could still earn a pen slot; given that the Padres promised him $1MM for the season in a deal that includes a 2019 option, it would seem they expected to carry him on the roster in some capacity. But the 27-year-old has been roughed up this spring and in his recent MLB seasons. By Cassavell’s reckoning, also via Twitter, that leaves the battle for the club’s final two starting jobs to veterans Tyson Ross and Chris Young along with younger hurlers Luis Perdomo and Robbie Erlin.
- Rangers prospect Cole Ragans is slated for an elbow MRI, as Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram was among those to tweet. That’s certainly not the news the organization was hoping for at this stage of camp for a player who was taken 30th overall in the 2016 draft. The southpaw is still nowhere near the majors, having spent last season at the low A level, but he’s seen as a high-ceiling prospect and the Rangers are surely hoping to see him turn in a full season of development. Ragans racked up 87 strikeouts (but also 35 walks) in his 57 1/3 innings last year, ending the season with a 3.61 ERA. For now, it’s just a situation to monitor.