Zack Greinke throws first bullpener since breaking rib

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Brewers starter Zack Greinke took his first big step toward returning from a rib fracture on Thursday afternoon at Miller Park.

According to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com, the right-hander stepped atop a mound and fired off around 30 pitches, reporting no abnormal pain or discomfort in the area of his cracked rib.

The Brewers are probably going to ask Greinke to throw bullpen sessions and simulated games over the next 10-14 days before clearing him for a minor league rehab assignment.

“He’s been really throwing the ball well,” said Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke. “Once his arm is built up and strong, then you can push him.”

The hope is that Greinke will be ready to make regular major league starts by the first week of May.

Reds, Raisel Iglesias agree to three-year contract

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The Reds announced on Wednesday that the club and pitcher Raisel Iglesias agreed to a three-year contract. Iglesias had been on a seven-year, $27 million contract signed in June 2014 and had two years with $10 million remaining. According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, the new contract is worth $24.125 million, so it’s a hefty pay raise for Iglesias.

Iglesias, who turns 29 years old in January, has gotten better every season pitching out of the Reds’ bullpen. In 2018, he posted a 2.38 ERA with 30 saves and an 80/25 K/BB ratio in 72 innings. Over his four-year career, the right-hander has 64 saves with a 2.97 ERA and a 359/106 K/BB ratio in 321 2/3 innings.

Iglesias gets little fanfare pitching for the Reds, fifth-place finishers in each of his four years, but he is certainly among baseball’s better relievers. Signing him to a new three-year deal gives them some certainty at the back of the bullpen in the near future.

There was a bit of confusion regarding his previous contract, which allowed him to opt out and file for arbitration if eligible. Iglesias has three years and 154 days of service time, so his new contract essentially covers his arbitration-eligible years.