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Snake Bytes, 3/8: Less than three weeks to go...

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We somehow escaped the visit of Trevor Bauer without any drone-related incidents. :)

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MLB: Spring Training-Cleveland Indians at Arizona Diamondbacks Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Team news

[Arizona Sports] Greinke focusing on offspeed pitches earlier than normal in spring - “Usually I’m working on something the first couple of outings more so than this year and then don’t even really focus on the off-speed,” Greinke said. “This year, I focused on it a little earlier than normal, maybe.” This time last year, after missing time early due to injury, Greinke was still trying to find his velocity. “For the first couple outings last year I know he was working on fastball command and letting that velocity creep up,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “If he’s telling you that he’s working on the secondary pitches I feel like that’s a good sign because he doesn’t need to work on the fastball location.”

[] GM Hazen offers mid-spring review - On the progress being made by Ketel Marte and Jake Lamb. “I think there’s going to be rocky roads in some cases ahead too. You don’t see the full gamut of what can happen in big league games, so we’re going to deal with those things. They’re both working their butts off. I think they both went into it with the right mindset, which is taking the challenge head on and believing in their ability to do it. I think that’s step No. 1. Hopefully in the next three weeks, with more repetition they’ll see more crazy things happen and become more comfortable with it. But so far, so good for both.”

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks balance heavy reliever loads with light springs - Mike Hazen believes there is “circumstantial evidence” to support the idea, but he said the number of factors surrounding each reliever can make drawing conclusions difficult. “Even within any different group that you could say, this guy pitched in 70 games, this guy pitched in 80 games, this guy pitched in 60 games, the shape of all that is so much different,” Hazen said. “How many times did they warm up over the course of the year? Where were those games? Were they bunched together? Were they spread out perfectly over the course of the season? Was it less stress or higher stress?”

[The Athletic] How Diamondbacks players – present and future – are learning what’s at stake in the next CBA - What Ahmed cares about is the lack of competition he sees across the league... “There are teams that are not trying to compete and not trying to win a championship this year, next year or even the year after,” he said. “Teams are coming out publicly and saying, ‘Hey, we’re not going to win. We’re not going to compete until 2021,’ or something crazy like that. How can you expect fans to come out and spend whatever on tickets, parking, concessions for maybe a family of four or five to watch an uncompetitive team that’s not trying to win? It’s not right. It’s not helping our game with teams not trying to win. The system is being taken advantage of.”

And, elsewhere...

[] MLB's weirdest offseason storylines: Rise of two-way players, the Orioles' lack of bench coach and more - Regular-season baseball is only a few weeks away. You can tell because we've spent a lot of time recently recapping the offseason through various prisms: judging the teams who had the best and worst offseasons, handing out grades, and so on. Today, we're going to adhere to that spirit by touching on four "weird" offseason developments that may have flown under the radar. Note that by "weird" we mean a departure from the norm. For example, a third baseman learning first base isn't weird; a third baseman learning to pitch is. It's an admittedly subjective measure. Welcome to life.

[Washington Post] MLB teams have a need for speed on the mound, and that’s bad for Dallas Keuchel - Keuchel doesn’t have an important quality most major league teams look for in their pitchers: high velocity. Major league batters hit .280 with a .476 slugging percentage off fastballs with velocities between 80 and 90 mph in 2018; that dropped to .264 with a .433 slugging percentage against fastballs thrown 91 to 100 mph and even further (.192/.264) against fastballs hurled at 101 mph or more, though that territory is more often reserved for relievers.

[Yahoo] Mets legend Tom Seaver diagnosed with dementia - Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Tom Seaver was recently diagnosed with dementia, his family announced in a statement released by the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Thursday. As a result, Seaver “has chosen to completely retire from public life.”The statement said. “The family is deeply appreciative of those who have supported Tom throughout his career, on and off the field, and who do so now by honoring his request for privacy. We join Tom in sending warmest regards to everyone.”