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Lovullo lays out milestones for Greinke

Corbin wraps up spring with five solid innings against Indians
Special to MLB.com

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- After seemingly earlier intimating Zack Greinke would make his 2018 debut in the third game of the regular season, to close out that Rockies series, D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said other milestones first must be met.

The first of those remaining is a bullpen session Saturday at Salt River Fields.

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- After seemingly earlier intimating Zack Greinke would make his 2018 debut in the third game of the regular season, to close out that Rockies series, D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said other milestones first must be met.

The first of those remaining is a bullpen session Saturday at Salt River Fields.

"We'll see what happens once he gets through that," Lovullo said. "We know that tomorrow is a big day and part of these landmarks that we talk to him about and want to make sure he hits them."

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Greinke was not pleased with his most recent performance, a 60-pitch outing in an intrasquad game.

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"It was all right -- I got some outs," Greinke said at the time.

Lovullo was asked why he wouldn't commit to a next outing for Greinke beyond the forthcoming bullpen.

"It's not really a secret. We just want to be fair to Zack," Lovullo said. "He's coming off an injury. We just want to be fair to the process.

"We want to make sure we're comfortable with Zack and what he's doing. We know that he had a good day [Friday] and he's going to throw his bullpen [Saturday]. We'll just leave it at that."

D-backs yet to name Opening Day starter
Earlier in the week when Lovullo said he would make an announcement on the team's Opening Day starter "by the weekend." Then he said "in 24 hours" on Thursday.

Friday came and went and which pitcher takes the ball on Thursday against the Rockies is still TBA. It may even be TBD, to hear Lovullo tell it.

"There's a few things that haven't been totally answered and we're walking through it," Lovullo said before his team lost to the Indians, 6-1, at Goodyear Ballpark on Friday. "We're trying to come up with the best solutions. We're getting very close. A lot of key decision are being talked about and they're very obvious."

So what's taking so long?

"We want to make sure we hit it right on Opening Day and want to make sure we hit it right the next day and the next day and then after that in the series against the Dodgers and then the series against the Cardinals," Lovullo said. "There's a strategy to what we do here.

"We want to win the game. We want to win the game. That's all we care about, is winning the game. We want to make sure we put the right candidate out there to help us win the game."

Opening Day would be four days' rest for Zack Godley and five for Patrick Corbin. Robbie Ray may be the logical choice given his success last season, but he's not lined up for Opening Day right now. Only Greinke, last season's Opening Day starter, has been ruled out of contention after he had a Cactus League start cut short this month due to groin tightness.

"Ten days ago, we had a flip in what our thoughts were," Lovullo said. "Everybody was fairly certain it would have been Zack [Greinke], and he was on the right road. The days were lined up and everything was perfect. Ten days ago, we had to transition."

Video: Skipper Lovullo looks back on Ray's successful 2017

Corbin wraps up spring
Corbin put the finishing touches on his Cactus League schedule on Friday night against the Indians. The left-hander allowed three runs (two earned) over five innings on three walks and six hits. The left-hander exited after allowing a solo home run to Yonder Alonso to lead off the sixth inning.

"Didn't work ahead as well as I would like to," Corbin said. "But I thought when I did throw strikes, they were quality pitches."

As for when Corbin will pitch next, his next turn in the rotation would come on Wednesday, which is the off-day before the regular-season opener. The southpaw said he still awaits final word.

"We'll probably find out soon, is what I was told," Corbin said.

Injury updates
• Catcher Jeff Mathis (back tightness) is expected to play in Saturday's game against the Royals. He last played in the Cactus League on March 14.

Rey Fuentes (left hand) could return in one of Saturday's split-squad games. The outfielder hasn't played since he was struck by a pitch on Monday.

• Reliever Randall Delgado (oblique) will throw a bullpen session Saturday, but he is still expected to start the regular season on the disabled list.

Up next
The D-backs are in split-squad action on Saturday, with Kris Medlen facing the Angels on MLB.TV and Godley starting against the Royals, which can be heard on Gameday Audio. First pitch for both games is at 1:10 MST.

Chris Gabel is a contributor to MLB.com.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Zack Greinke