- Zack Greinke has been dealing with a lack of velocity and a minor groin injury this spring, but after a 40-pitch bullpen session today, the Diamondbacks ace is hopeful of being ready for the start of the season, he told MLB.com’s Owen Perkins and other reporters. “If I felt this good every day for the rest of my career, it would be amazing,” Greinke said. “I’ll definitely be making the next outing. I felt healthy and the pitches were pretty good. Hopefully that continues. It should; it was a good day.” Greinke left a start last Wednesday after just one inning due to mild groin tightness, and though he already seems to be feeling better, manager Torey Lovullo said the club will continue to monitor Greinke’s progress. The setbacks have cost Greinke the Opening Day assignment, though he could pitch as soon as Arizona’s third game of the season.
- With several outfielders seemingly ahead of Trayce Thompson on the Dodgers depth chart, the club is expected to explore trading the out-of-options Thompson, Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times writes. Thompson has shown some promise over three MLB seasons but he hasn’t been the same since suffering back injuries midway through the 2016 season. Thompson appeared in just 27 games for the Dodgers last season, contributing a meager .483 OPS in 55 plate appearances. Yasiel Puig and Chris Taylor are slated for starting duty in right and center field, respectively, with Thompson, Matt Kemp, Joc Pederson, Enrique Hernandez, Andrew Toles, and top prospect Alex Verdugo all competing for left field or backup duty. If a trade partner can’t be found, the Dodgers will risk losing Thompson for nothing, as he would have to pass through waivers before the Dodgers could send him to the minors.
- Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed his rotation to reporters (including Bill Shaikin) today, with Clayton Kershaw, Alex Wood, Kenta Maeda, Rich Hill, and Hyun-jin Ryu lined up as the Los Angeles starting five. Beyond those five, however, are some question marks, as Roberts admitted “We don’t have the starting pitching depth that we’ve had in past years.” That depth allowed the Dodgers to reach the World Series despite DL stints for every member of their pitching staff, and now since Yu Darvish and Brandon McCarthy have both moved on to other teams, L.A. now has Ross Stripling, Brock Stewart, and Walker Buehler as the top depth options. Tom Koehler was signed over the offseason to bring a veteran arm into the mix, though Koehler is sidelined indefinitely due to a mild AC strain.
- A year after a surprising position switch, Chris Shaw is hoping to eventually crack the majors as a left fielder, Kerry Crowley of the Bay Area News Group writes. The Giants already had Brandon Belt at first base, so with Shaw’s natural position blocked, the club began to deploy Shaw in left field as a way of finding a place in the lineup for his intriguing power bat. Shaw was San Francisco’s first-round pick (31st overall) in the 2015 draft and is ranked as the second-best prospect in the team’s farm system by both MLB.com and Baseball America, making him a key part of the Giants’ future. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Shaw make his Major League debut sometime in 2018, with a potential starting job awaiting him in 2019 if Hunter Pence isn’t re-signed.