All in the Diamondbacks clubhouse are breathing a sigh of relief as an MRI on pitcher Zack Greinke came back clean although no determination has been made on whether or not he will make his next start which would come on Tuesday at San Diego.
Greinke departed with two outs in the eighth inning of Wednesday’s 11-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates at Chase Field after throwing his 95th pitch, quickly motioning for a trainer and leaving with what was later termed an abdominal strain.
After the game Greinke said he felt the discomfort after releasing a previous pitch and didn’t want to risk further injury.
Before Friday’s series opener against San Francisco, Diamondbacks Manager Torey Lovullo said Greinke will throw a bullpen session on Saturday, which will be a major factor in the next step.
“We want to make sure Zack is healthy, strong and feels good,” Lovullo said. “I think the bullpen will be an indicator of that tomorrow and once we get there we’ll figure out what the best options are. We’re hoping to avoid a DL stint, but if it’s what’s necessary we won’t hesitate because he’s so important to us. If we have to miss one or two starts now for the rest of the season, we will. But that’s one option and we haven’t figured it all out.”
If Greinke, 35, has to miss any time, it would cause quite the dilemma for Lovullo, who already has one void in the rotation created when a struggling Zack Godley was moved to the bullpen. The Diamondbacks were waiting until after Friday’s game to announce the starter for Saturday, the spot that would have been Godley’s.
Greinke (6-1, 2.78) has been putting up all-star numbers in his 16th big league season. Take away the seven runs allowed to the division rival Dodgers in his first outing and Greinke has given up just 13 earned runs in the other 61 innings (1.92 ERA).
While Greinke may not be in the clear, the fact that he is going to throw a bullpen so soon is reason to be optimistic,
“The MRI came back clean, came back good. We’re really excited about that,” Lovullo said. “He even did some light tossing today.”
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Dyson more patient
Jarrod Dyson was back in his familiar lead-off spot and starting in center field.
Dyson, 35, entered Friday’s game hitting .290 with a team-high 11 stolen bases. More importantly, he has drawn 16 walks in in 93 at-bats.
His career best of 30 walks came in 2012 while playing with the Kansas City Royals and he did that in 291 at bats. His next best was 28 in 2017 playing for Seattle but needed 346 at-bats to total that many.
“I feel like I have always had a good eye at the plate but I am trying to be more patient he said. “I am in the lineup regularly and I’m in the lead-off spot so I am getting a lot of at-bats and that helps.”
He likes hitting at the top of the lineup.
“The success I have had in my career has come when I have batted there,” he said. “I like being the guy to get things going.”
The Diamondbacks boast the best stolen base percentage in baseball at 88.9 (24 for 27), just ahead of the Angels (82.6), Orioles (80.8) and Yankees (80.8).. Dyson has a team-high 11 of 12 tries . . . Arizona is one of few teams who boast better records on the road than at home. Heading into Friday’s game it was just 10-11 at Chase Field and 14-9 on the road. The road mark is fourth best in baseball . . .