Greinke, Bradley get in work on back field

Right-handers faced Angels hitters instead of pitching vs. Dodgers

March 3rd, 2019

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- said before camp opened that he was going to have one of the best curveballs in the league this year now that he no longer was dealing with a fingernail issue on his right forefinger.

That remains to be seen, but the right-hander did snap off a nasty one Saturday for a called third strike in his first appearance of the spring.

Bradley, along with ace Zack Greinke, threw in a back-field game against the Angels so as not to let the division-rival Dodgers -- whom the D-backs were playing in a Cactus League game -- get a look at them. Arizona scored five runs in the seventh of that game to beat the Dodgers, 6-5.

Bradley retired the Angels hitters in order, including getting Albert Pujols to ground out in his one inning of work.

“I’ve kind of been saying it, but to step up there and have full confidence in throwing a curveball in any situation, it makes me feel like a new pitcher,” Bradley said. “It really does.”

Bradley, who is competing with Greg Holland for the closer job, struggled to throw the curveball consistently in 2018 because the nail on his forefinger continued to crack during the season.

Without the threat of the curveball, hitters were able to sit on his fastball.

The D-backs held Bradley back a bit this spring due to the fact that he made 76 appearances last season, fourth-most in the National League.

“I think they’re really letting us be our own dictators on what we need to do to get ready,” Bradley said. “Where, Opening Day we’re throwing 96, 97, 98 mph and not doing it in early March when it’s not needed.”

Greinke gets in work

Greinke threw three innings -- plus a few batters to make sure he reached his pitch count -- and allowed a pair of runs, including one earned, on three hits. The right-hander threw 29 of his 47 pitches for strikes.

“Solid,” he said. “Wasn’t great. Just OK. All the pitches were OK, location was just OK. Built up all the pitches, got a little tired at the end, which was good. Feel good for the next outing.”

The rules were a bit flexible considering it was a back-field game, so Pujols and Jonathan Lucroy hit first and second against Greinke each inning.

By not facing the Dodgers, Greinke avoided allowing Los Angeles regulars Joc Pederson, Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger, Enrique Hernandez and Chris Taylor to get a chance to see him before the two teams meet to open the regular season later this month at Dodger Stadium.

“I think that was a good part of it,” Greinke said of facing the Angels instead.

Big hit for Tomas

Yasmany Tomas capped a five-run seventh inning with a two-out, three-run double to the gap in right-center field.

“Yas with the big blow,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “Those are great moments for a hitter and just tells you that these guys are thinking. They’re engaged and their direction is aligned with possibility of a more successful at-bat rather than getting around balls, chopping or missing to the pull side.”

Up next

Zack Godley will make his second start of the spring Sunday afternoon as the D-backs take on the Mariners at 1:10 MST in Peoria. Andrew Chafin and Yoan Lopez are also slated to see action in the game.