DIAMONDBACKS ace Zack Greinke will start this season in the dugout.
Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said on Monday (Tuesday, Manila time) that Greinke won't pitch on opening day because of what's perceived to be a minor health issue.
Greinke exited his latest start after one inning because of tightness in his groin. He's scheduled to pitch again in spring training on Wednesday.
The Diamondbacks don't want to push him to be ready for their first game March 29 at home against Colorado. Without this wrinkle, Lovullo said Greinke would've started the opener for the third straight year.
"Every staff has a No. 1 and he fit the bill perfectly," Lovullo said. "He won 17 games last year. He was our staff ace."
Lovullo said he wasn't ready to say who would start against the Rockies. The likely candidate is Robbie Ray, who went 15-5 with a 2.89 earned run average last year.
"There's a strategy," Lovullo said. "We don't just look at opening day. We look at opening day and then beyond, so probably five or six days beyond that day. And we want to make sure that we hit things just right to get it to the point where we have good matchups all the way through."
ELSEWHERE AROUND THE GRAPEFRUIT AND CACTUS LEAGUES
RED SOX 6, PHILLIES 5
Boston ace Chris Sale gave up four runs on five hits and three walks in five innings. He also struck out six. Mookie Betts hit two doubles and Xavier Bogaerts homered for the Red Sox. Aaron Altherr homered for Philadelphia.
MARLINS 9, NATIONALS 1
Washington ace Max Scherzer was tagged for three homers and six runs in six innings. Adam Eaton and Anthony Rendon each had two hits for the Nationals. Miami starter Trevor Richards worked four innings and allowed one run.
ASTROS 2, METS 0
Justin Verlander pitched seven shutout innings and Carlos Correa homered for Houston. Steven Matz struck out nine in six innings for New York.
ORIOLES 4, TIGERS 2
Baltimore starter Chris Tillman allowed one run in five innings. Detroit starter Michael Fulmer struck out five in five innings and gave up two runs. Dixon Machado doubled twice for the Tigers.
PIRATES 11, TWINS 8
Miguel Sano, who had three hits, and Brian Dozier homered for Minnesota. Josh Bell, Jose Osuna and Christopher Bostick connected for Pittsburgh.
BRAVES 6, BLUE JAYS 0
Julio Teheran pitched 6 2/3 shutout innings, striking out five and allowing four hits. The Atlanta ace has an 0.87 ERA this spring. Toronto starter Aaron Sanchez allowed two hits over 6 1/3 innings.
INDIANS 5, GIANTS 4
Yonder Alonso hit two home runs off San Francisco starter Johnny Cueto. Alonso had three hits and drove in four runs. Cueto allowed four runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings. Cleveland starter Josh Tomlin gave up three runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings. University of Virginia alum Jarrett Parker, dogged by retriever jokes from his teammates after his Cavaliers were ousted from the NCAA tournament by the University of Maryland-Baltimore County Retrievers, hit his third spring training home run in his bid to make the 25-man roster.
The Indians released outfielder Melvin Upton Jr., who hit .189 in 18 spring games. The 33-year-old spent last year in the minors, seeing limited action for the Giants' Triple-A team while slowed by injuries.
WHITE SOX 15, DIAMONDBACKS 2
Matt Davidson, who homered, and Adam Engel each had three hits for Chicago and leadoff man Yoan Moncada got two hits and drove in three runs. Carson Fulmer pitched four hitless innings for the White Sox. Arizona relievers Neftali Feliz and Kris Medlen both got roughed up.