Diamondbacks News

Arizona Diamondbacks: Five Questions for Opening Day and Beyond

By Mark Brown
Mar 8, 2017; Salt River Pima-Maricopa, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zack Greinke against Mexico during a 2017 World Baseball Classic exhibition game at Salt River Fields. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 8, 2017; Salt River Pima-Maricopa, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zack Greinke against Mexico during a 2017 World Baseball Classic exhibition game at Salt River Fields. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mar 8, 2017; Salt River Pima-Maricopa, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Chris Herrmann (left) and pitcher Zack Greinke against Mexico during a 2017 World Baseball Classic exhibition game at Salt River Fields. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 8, 2017; Salt River Pima-Maricopa, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Chris Herrmann (left) and pitcher Zack Greinke against Mexico during a 2017 World Baseball Classic exhibition game at Salt River Fields. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

As the Arizona Diamondbacks prepare to open the season, several issues are front and center.

Can Greinke recovery from last season?

In 2016, right-hander Zack Greinke of the Arizona Diamondbacks did not turn in a terrible season. By most standards, the numbers were solid, but not for the environment surrounding Greinke.

Heralded as the most attractive player on the free agent market last offseason, the Arizona Diamondbacks reached out with a win-now mentality. Though owner Ken Kendrick believes to the contrary, the Diamondbacks are a big market team. He opened his checkbook with that perception.

One issue which plagued Greinke throughout spring training was a lack of creditable velocity on his fast ball.

Greinke drew the opening day assignment against the Colorado Rockies and quickly imploded. For four innings in his first start, Greinke surrendered nine hits, seven runs, and three homers. Then, the avalanche. By the time he went on the disabled list with a strained left oblique in early July, Greinke was little more than a marginal pitcher. He ended with a 13-7 record and a 4.37 ERA, the second highest ERA in his major-league career.

Now, can the Diamondbacks expect a turn-around? One issue which plagued Greinke throughout spring training was a lack of decent velocity on his fastball. Both Greinke and manager Torey Lovullo discounted that aspect and pronounced Greinke ready for opening day.

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