Zack Greinke continues to swing hot bat

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Diamondbacks pitcher Zack Greinke has long been regarded as a good-hitting pitcher, but he still entered Thursday afternoon’s game against the Pirates with a career .597 OPS. For as good as he is compared to other pitchers, he swings the bat about as well as the worst bench players in the league.

So far this year, though, it’s a different story. Along with a dominating pitching performance in a 5-0 win over the Pirates, Greinke went 1-for-3 with a triple. On the mound, Greinke tossed seven shutout innings, limiting the Pirates to two hits and a walk while striking out seven. He’s now 4-1 with a 3.72 ERA and a 39/7 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings on the year.

The triple is Grienke’s fifth extra-base hit in 16 plate appearances this season. He carries a .500/.545/1.300 triple-slash line along with a pair of homers, four RBI, and four runs scored. Those aren’t bench player numbers. Both homers, by the way, came on the same day: April 2 against the Padres.

16 plate appearances is a very small sample, of course, and Greinke won’t continue hitting this well over the course of the entire season. But what fun is baseball without narratives?

Rays moving spring camp due to damage caused by hurricane

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Rays are relocating their spring base for 2023 due to extensive damage to team training facilities caused by Hurricane Ian.

The Rays have trained since 2009 in Port Charlotte, Florida, about 90 minutes south of St. Petersburg, and intend to explore several options before making a decision on where to hold spring training and play Grapefruit League games when camp opens.

The team and Charlotte County released a joint statement Thursday, saying damage to Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte can’t be repaired in time to host games this winter.

“Charlotte County supports the Rays efforts to secure alternative accommodations for 2023 spring training,” the statement said.

“We are all disappointed for the residents of Charlotte County and the fans there. The community is in the thoughts and hearts of the Rays, and the team will continue to support recovery efforts,” the statement added. “The Rays and Charlotte County intend to develop a restoration plan for Charlotte Sports Park in the coming weeks.”