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Diamondbacks Game Preview #44: 5/23 vs. Royals

Will our Zach be better than their Zack?

Houston Astros v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

ROYALS DIAMONDBACKS
Whit Merrifield - RF Daulton Varsho - DH
Andrew Benintendi - LF Pavin Smith - RF
Bobby Witt - SS Ketel Marte - 2B
Hunter Dozier - 1B Christian Walker - 1B
MJ Melendez - C David Peralta - LF
Carlos Santana - DH Jake McCarthy - CF
Emmanuel Rivera - 3B Geraldo Perdomo - SS
Kyle Isbel - CF Drew Ellis - 3B
Nicky Lopez - 2B Grayson Greiner - C
Zack Greinke - RHP Zach Davies - RHP

It’s strange to realize it has been almost three years since Zack Greinke pitched his last game at Chase Field. It was July 20th, 2019 and he picked up a no-decision for seven innings of two-run ball against the Brewers. Eleven days later, he was dealt, along with a 16-wheeler of cash, to the Astros for Seth Beer, J.B. Bukauskas, Corbin Martin and Josh Rojas. Anyone have Rojas being the most valuable of those pieces? Though to this point, the sum total of those parts returned to Aerizona has been below replacement level. Still time, I guess for the legal firm of Beer, Bukauskas and Martin to prove their worth. And it’s not as if Greinke would have helped the D-backs into the playoffs by being here.

In Houston, however, he had three straight post-season appearance, reaching the World Series (albeit on the losing side) twice. Zack has been merely ok, going 1-2 with a 4.30 ERA over 11 playoff games for the Astros. He was better for them in the regular season, posting a 3.89 ERA (112 ERA+) with Houston, across just over three hundred innings. He hit the free-agent market at the end of the last season, and notched himself a one-year deal in Kansas City worth $13 million. After eight starts, the thirty-eight year old pitcher is still looking for his first win as a Royal, being 0-2 despite a decent 3.48 ERA.

Oddly - though with regard to Zack, few things are truly “odd” - he pitched better in the losses than the no-decisions, with both defeats being by a 1-0 margin. In each of his last two starts, Greinke came within one out of getting the win. On May 13 against the Rockies in Coors, he was lifted with two outs in the fifth and the score a typically Denverian 8-7 to Kansas City. And last time on the mound, he allowed two runs over 5.2 innings facing the White Sox, leaving with the game tied at two. The Royals then took the lead for good in the bottom of the sixth. Including two post-season starts, and his final one of the regular season in 2021, he has now gone 11 starts without any kind of decision. #Greinked.

TOREY LOVULLO NOTES

Health Updates

Josh Rojas is not in the lineup today. The swelling has gone down considerably in his hand and function is improving, but he’s still going to see Dr. Sheridan tomorrow (Hand Specialist) and probably also going to get an MRI.

Carson Kelly: He is still just catching pens and doing Tee and Flip batting work. Has not yet transitioned outside as originally planed. They are slow playing his ramp up. Torey would not characterize this as a setback but that recovery has not been moving as fast as originally planned. He seemed to indicate that Carson is possibly more than 2 weeks away from a rehab assignment. From there, due to the nature of catching and not being able to catch back to back days initially he might possibly have a longer rehab assignment than is typically the case for D-backs coming off the injured list.

Luke Weaver will throw an extended game tomorrow: 2 IP, 30 Pitches, at Salt River 11:00 A.M. He will still be used as a reliever when he ultimately returns and Torey indicated he would not ask him to go further than a couple of innings or 30 pitches once he returns.

Keynan Middleton will throw a bullpen on Friday.

COVID UPDATES:

Jose Herrera is getting ready to come out of the Covid Protocol.

Nick Ahmed, Cooper Hummel, and Kyle Nelson are all still in the protocol.

Alek Thomas: Just a day off and an emotional break after a big weekend in his hometown of Chicago.

On facing Zack Greinke:

They keep in touch. He admires him as a true competitor. “There is just one, maybe two days a year I’m not a fan of his, and today is one of those days.”

Asked about Zack getting it done without striking out hardly any batters:

“Zack can do anything he wants in this game. He is a true negotiator when he’s on the mound. He just wants to win a baseball game and get you out. I’m sure he doesn’t care how he’s doing it.”

Diamondbacks Sac Bunts are up. (7 this year are tied for 3rd most in MLB)

“I’m managing the team that we have. I’m trying to put us in the best position possible. I am not a huge sacrifice bunter. But I felt like the times that I have done it was going to help us score some runs or continue to put pressure on the pitcher.”

TOREY LOVULLO AUDIO