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Snake Bytes 3/9: A question of velocity

Should we be worried about Zack Greinke? Because Zack Greinke apparently isn't.

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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[FOX Sports] Greinke pleased with progress in 2nd spring start - The most encouraging sign for Greinke is that he felt good physically and improved as the game wore on. He was removed after 49 pitches, which was pre-determined, and hopes to work up to about 65 pitches in his next outing. "This start was way better than the first one, and that’s a good sign always," he said. "Hopefully it continues to get better as camp goes. There’s more than enough time for me to get ready. I don’t expect to be anything but ready. I’m in a pretty decent spot; a lot of stuff felt really comfortable the second and third inning."

[] Greinke not concerned by down velo in latest start - Greinke topped out at 89.5 mph in his second outing after hitting 91 mph in his first. "No, I'd rather it be more," Greinke said when asked if he was satisfied with his velocity. "But that's just what it is at the moment. Hopefully I'll get a little better as the camp goes. I saw mainly 88s when I looked," Greinke said of his velocity. "A little bit slower than normal, but I started throwing a little later than normal, too. So hopefully it gains a little bit. But it's not like too crazy at the moment."

[AZ Central] Zack Greinke calls diminished velocity ‘not ideal’ - Greinke began his throwing program later this year than he did in previous springs, and he seemed hopeful that was part of the explanation for the dip in velocity. But, at 33, Greinke already has seen his stuff decline from where it was in his 20s, and it would be little surprise if it were it to continue to fall. "Stuff has taken a dip even since last year," a rival scout said. "Hopefully it’s just spring training and he’s working into shape. It wasn’t good today."

[Arizona Sports] Shelby Miller: 2016 was by far worst year I'll have in the big leagues - "That’s a year I’ll remember forever. It’s part of my career, it’s a part of my life now. It’s something I’ll have to deal with. It’s something that I can look back and be like, by far the worst year I’ll probably have in the big leagues... For me, it was just not getting myself out of those jams, getting out of those holes. I don’t think my stuff, honestly, was there as good as it could be, and this year I feel really good and confident with what I have. My velocity is up, my stuff is way sharper than it was at this point (last season), so my mindset is clear slate going into 2017, ready to go and help this team win."

[] Bradley using spring to refine cutter, changeup - While Bradley has a 17.47 ERA so far this spring, he sees the positives. "I put myself in those situations -- missed a couple of pitches, had some bad luck, but trying to keep the overall picture of, it's Spring Training, I'm working on new pitches." The cutter was an effective pitch for Bradley in 2014 when he pitched in the AFL, and he said he's not sure why he stopped throwing it. As for the changeup, that's a pitch Bradley still seeks consistency with ever since signing out of high school in 2011. He said he threw some really good ones on Tuesday.

[AZ Central] Nick Ahmed’s value to Diamondbacks hinges on healthy hip - The early signs at Salt River Fields are encouraging. "I see really no difference," infield coach Tony Perezchica said. "He’s moving around well. He’s real active in all our drill work. During the games, when I see his first step in any direction, it still looks as quick as what I’ve seen in the past. It’s a good sign." "He looks great," second baseman Brandon Drury said. "I know how hard he worked, the time and effort he put into coming back. He came back, it feels like, very fast. He looks good and I know he feels good."

[Inside the 'Zona] 2017 Spring Preview: A Wide Open Bullpen - My goodness, there are a ton of relief arms in camp this spring. I know, I know. This isn’t exactly unheard of as relievers, especially those not slated for late inning duty, are probably the most fungible assets in the game. They’re also the most volatile. With performances fluctuating wildly and sample sizes small, evaluating relievers is difficult in the spring. One bad inning can tank an ERA. Coaches are evaluating "stuff" and how sharp pitchers are at this early stage, knowing that things will change over the course of the spring and into the season.

[] Chris Owings respects Pollock's magical mitt - Owings, though, had not played the outfield since he was just a boy, so he didn't have an outfielder's glove. "A.J. gave me his glove to use," Owings said. After using it for a bit, Owings was suddenly struck by something. "Is this the glove you used last year to win the Gold Glove [Award]?" Owings asked Pollock, who won the award in 2015. When he found out it was, he immediately gave it back. "I couldn't use it," Owings said. "He won the Gold Glove with it. I asked him to give me another one."

[Arizona Sports] Beard-growing a group effort in Dbacks Clubhouse - Maintaining the chin mane is another thing. "You wash it two or three times a week and make sure you put oil in it everyday just to make sure it keeps its’ softness about it," said Ray, who’s kept the look going for about four years. "It can get kind of brittle and stringy so you have just got to take care of it. Pitcher Daniel Gibson also flaunts full scruff. "I think most people who don’t have a beard want to grow a beard," he said. "I’d say there’s a good amount of people here that wish they could grow a beard, even if it was just for a day, just to see how it feels. I guess I’m just a lucky one."

And, elsewhere...

[Jerusalem Post] Israel clinches berth in World Baseball Classic quarterfinals - Alex Jacobs, an Astros scout, received permission from the club to work part-time for Team Israel as its director of player personnel. Jacobs filled out the roster by scanning farm systems for players with last names that seemed Jewish. Jacobs contacted Scotty Burcham, a shortstop in the Colorado Rockies organization, on Facebook after seeing photos of his mother. "She kind of looks Jewish, and she’s from New York, so let’s just ask," Jacobs figured. "Next thing you know, he was a big member of our club."

[ESPN] Tim Tebow: baseball player or carnival act? - Tebow, 29, put on a power display during batting practice that left Red Sox players "pretty astonished," according to Ramirez. At one point, Tebow even launched an opposite-field home run off the bottom of the scoreboard in left field. But when the game started, he made contact with only three of 14 pitches over four plate appearances against four Red Sox pitchers. He was helpless against off-speed stuff and far too passive in his approach at the plate.

[] Five women playing baseball right now that you should pay attention to - Yesterday was International Women's Day, a holiday dedicated to "celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women." And while women have made waves in all aspects of the game recently, it's time to celebrate the ones excelling between the lines -- right alongside men.