D-backs set up to have Greinke start WC Game

September 21st, 2017

SAN DIEGO -- The D-backs aren't saying who would start a winner-take-all Wild Card Game for them on Oct. 4. In fact, they aren't even going to take for granted that they will be in that game despite their commanding position.

But if you plot out the next nine games, you can see that ace Zack Greinke would be lined up to start the Wild Card Game.

"We're going to stay right in line," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said about keeping his starters in their regular turn despite a pair of upcoming off-days. "At this point in the conversations we've had with where we're at, with not clinching everything yet, we're going to keep everything full throttle, right in line. That's not to say things won't change, but for right now it's going to stay as it is."

If that's the case, then Greinke would start Friday night against the Marlins and again Sept. 27 against the Giants.

That would mean Greinke would pitch the Wild Card Game on six days' rest.

"Sometimes things line up in mysterious ways and for good reasons," Lovullo said with a smile. "It seems like he'll be pretty close [to his regular turn]."

It's a balancing act for Lovullo and the team's baseball operations department -- they have to make sure they focus on the here and now in order to secure a posteason spot, but they also need to keep an eye on the future to make sure they are set up as best they can for the postseason.

"We try to stay with today," Lovullo said. "I know that's been our motto and it's real. We take care of today. But sometimes you got to step outside of that and look towards next week or next month."

Stay away

The D-backs canceled batting practice and closed their clubhouse until three hours before Wednesday's 6:10 p.m. MST start, forbidding players from showing up before that time. That is a stark departure from normal days when players will show up as early as 1 p.m.

Lovullo said several players approached hitting coach Dave Magadan with the idea.

"I think guys have been grinding, a little tired," Lovullo said. "I know we have an off-day tomorrow and in combination with that, getting off our feet today will give us a chance to be refreshed for the weekend."