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Zack Greinke pitches in side session

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Today was an off day for the Diamondbacks in the Cactus League, but not for their Opening Day starter.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks-Media Day Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The aim of today’s side session at Salt River Fields was to keep Zack Greinke on a steady schedule, pitching every fifth day as he moves towards his start against the San Francisco Giants in a little under three weeks, on April 2. The calendar didn’t co-operate, giving the Diamondbacks a blank day on their schedule today, so Greinke got his work in against minor-leaguers this morning on one of the parks behind the main stadium at Salt River Fields. [Video via @Dbacks]

It didn’t start well, Greinke allowing a double and an RBI single to the first two batters faced. But he settled down thereafter, not allowing a hit, and retired the final 14 men, to end with five innings of two-hit ball, allowing one run, with no walks and seven strikeouts. The question you’re likely most interested in is Greinke’s velocity, and there was some good news there, with Zack apparently hitting 91 mph in the first. He did lose a pip or two - according to Nick Piecoro, he “didn't crack 90 after the second inning” - but at least we know he still has it in him.

Greinke was his usual phlegmatic self afterward: "I don't know how good it was, but the results were good," Though he did say he has seen progress each start this spring, which hasn’t always been the case: "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." All being well, I presume his next outing will be on Saturday, which will be against a World Baseball Classic team (to be announced) at Salt River Fields - if so, it’ll be in front of multiple SnakePitters since that game is also SpringTrainingSnakePitFest.

[Video via AZCentral.com]