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Greinke feels good after back-field tuneup

D-backs ace gets work in during Cactus League off-day
March 13, 2017

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Zack Greinke's outing Monday started a little earlier and definitely had a different atmosphere, but Spring Training is about getting work done, no matter when or where.The D-backs' ace had a 10 a.m. MST start vs. a mix of Minor Leaguers and a few Major Leaguers on

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Zack Greinke's outing Monday started a little earlier and definitely had a different atmosphere, but Spring Training is about getting work done, no matter when or where.
The D-backs' ace had a 10 a.m. MST start vs. a mix of Minor Leaguers and a few Major Leaguers on a back field at the club's facility at Salt River Fields, and he wound up going five innings and getting his pitch count where it needs to be this time of year.
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"It worked out pretty good, and I think I got out of it what we wanted to get done today," Greinke said.
Greinke gave up a run on two hits -- both coming from the first two batters -- before retiring his last 14 batters, including seven via strikeout. His unofficial pitch count was 56, with a high ratio of 41 for strikes.
"I don't know how good it was, but the results were good," Greinke said.
The 33-year-old right-hander, like many top pitchers, always has had a start or two on a back field. In this case, Arizona had an off-day Monday, but the team wanted to keep Greinke on his regular five-day cycle.
Greinke said there are advantages to getting one's work done on a back field with other members of the same organization on the other side and a couple dozen fans and front-office types in attendance.
"I think it's good to have a good mix, because you can work on stuff a little more so, but when you go to the main-field game trying to work on stuff, sometimes a couple of guys get on and you abandon that plan," Greinke said. "Back there, it's easier to just stay focused on what you wanted to work on."
After a first-pitch double and an RBI single greeted him to start the outing, Greinke seemed to buckle down a bit and his breaking pitches became crisper. His fastball velocity was hovering around 90-91 mph early but dropped a bit after that.
Ultimately, it was about Greinke getting his work in, staying strong and healthy and moving on to the next step toward Opening Day. In that sense: mission accomplished.
"Each outing's gone a little better, which is good," said Greinke, who had thrown 1 2/3 innings vs. the Dodgers and 2 2/3 innings vs. Team Mexico prior to Monday. "A lot of times I'll take a step back in one of the outings where it just goes really bad, but so far it's been better each time."

John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter @JohnSchlegelMLB.