Last week, Diamondbacks starter Zack Greinke created cause for concern when he struggled to hit 90 MPH with his fastball. He wondered aloud if he just doesn’t have it anymore.
Fortunately, during Tuesday’s appearance in a Cactus League game against the Reds, Greinke got his fastball up to 92 MPH and fanned a couple of batters with change-ups, Zach Buchanan of The Athletic reports. However, Greinke was only able to last the one inning as he left with tightness in his right groin, the club announced.
A groin issue is better than an arm issue, but it’s still concerning. The 34-year-old Greinke is under contract through 2021 earning $136.5 million, so the D-Backs hope he’s able to stay healthy for that duration.
Last season, Greinke finished 17-7 with a 3.20 ERA and a 215/45 K/BB ratio in 202 1/3 innings. He finished fourth in NL Cy Young Award balloting and won a Gold Glove Award.
Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.
Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.
Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.