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Zack Greinke is struggling to crack 90 m.p.h. with his fastball


Zack Greinke is not like most ballplayers. He does not speak in cliches like they do and he does not try to spin every single negative thing as a positive. We’re used to only hearing negativity from players when things are really bad — athletes always try to think positively — but with Greinke, it’s not safe to make that sort of an assumption.

That said, given how important Greinke is to the Diamondbacks, it’s still worth paying at least some attention to sentiment like this:

Greinke was above 90 in his first spring outing but has been only hitting the mid-80s in his last two starts, including an intrasquad game this morning. Nick Piecoro, who has followed Greinke for a long time, notes that Greinke has had to build up his velocity during spring training in the past as well. He wonders whether or not Greinke has dead arm, which is not an uncommon ailment for pitchers in March.

Greinke, 34, posted a 3.20 ERA and a 215/45 K/BB ratio over 202.1 innings last season and was fourth in the NL Cy Young Award voting. There’s no reason to think that he’s suddenly lost it. And again, it’s not wise to overreact to what he says, but it’s probably something worth watching.

Daniel Murphy will miss the start of the season

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Daniel Murphy said today that he will not be ready for Opening Day and will start the year on the disabled list.

Murphy had microfracture knee surgery last October. While he has been able to take batting practice and field ground balls, his lateral movement is still limited. In his absence — which is not expected to last past mid-April or so — Howie Kendrick will get the bulk of the playing time at second base.

Murphy hit .322/.384/.543, smacked 23 homers and knocked in 93 RBI in 2017.