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PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Greinke’s glass will be half-full this season. And gleaming.“My goal this year is to not complain about anything Carlos Asuaje Jersey ,” Greinke said. “There are a lot of things that when you get my age that you could complain about. Not throwing as hard. Not feeling as good. Not running as fast. I’m just trying to think positive and not let negative thoughts creep into your mind.”Greinke, 35, will make his fourth opening day start against the six-time defending NL West-champion Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday, marking the beginning of his 16th season.Greinke has won 45 games in his three seasons with Arizona after signing a six-year, $206.5 million free agent contract in the winter of 2015, and he came within one strikeout of his sixth career 200 strikeout/200 inning season last year. Since 2008, only Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and Felix Hernandez have more than five.“It’s nice,” Greinke said of his opening day assignment. “I don’t really care about that stuff as a sentimental thing. I like pitching a lot, so it gives me the best chance to make 33, 34 starts. I like that part of it.”Greinke has made at least 32 starts in every injury-free season since 2008, and he has won at least 10 games in all 11 seasons since. Greinke, Orel Hershiser and Fernando Valenzuela are the only three pitchers in major league history to win Cy Young, Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards.The ability to take on a heavy workload “is part of the job http://www.padresfanproshop.com/authentic-brad-hand-jersey ,” Greinke said.“I hope it continues that way for the next 50 years, where that is the goal of the team and players to make their starts,” he added. “It’s what your job is. Look forward to that. Hope to do that every year.”Greinke, 15-11 last season after pitching through right shoulder soreness in the first month or so, said he had no health issues this spring.“Hopefully it stays that way,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll get a lot of outs, but a long way to go.”Greinke has stayed competitive by adjusting his attack as his velocity dipped slightly. Greinke’s fastball averaged a career-low 89.6 mph last season, according to FanGraphs. He compensated by throwing a slightly higher percentage of curveballs and changeups while moving away from his slider and cut fastball.The curve and changeup graded out as his most effective pitches, and he led the majors with 37 strikeouts on pitches timed at 70 mph or less thanks to a slow, slow curve that lands at 65-66.“The way I look at right now is, if I throw 88-89 (mph) and command it, that’s better than 89-90 with a little bit less command,” Greinke said. “I’d rather try to command what I have. Whatever is working, I keep doing. Some things work a little bit differently each year Matt Szczur Jersey , and I just try to see that.”Arizona manager Torey Lovullo has followed Greinke’s adjustments firsthand.“He came up as a 95-96 (mph) fireballer who has learned how to pitch over the course of the last 12, 13 seasons,” Lovullo said.“He gets outs with every pitch, which is really, really impressive. He is attacking weaknesses. He has a really good game plan . as good as anybody I’ve ever seen. There is a reason for it, and that is all the hard work he puts in behind the scenes.” SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — Veteran outfielder Hunter Pence is set to start the season with his hometown Texas Rangers after going to spring training on a minor league contract.Manager Chris Woodward told Pence on Thursday that he will be on the 25-man roster as the team’s fourth outfielder when the Rangers open the regular season at home next Thursday against the Chicago Cubs.That means slimmed-down 24-year-old outfielder Willie Calhoun will start the season at Triple-A Nashville.Pence, a three-time All-Star who turns 36 on April 13, is a .280 career hitter in 12 big league seasons with Houston, Philadelphia and San Francisco. He was part of two World Series championships with the Giants.Pence was hitting .333 with three homers and seven RBIs in 40 spring training at-bats through Thursday. The right-hander was a better fit for the Rangers roster at this point. He will make $2 million while in the majors.“This is a really big deal, and it impacted me in a big way,” Pence said. “To be honest, the way I ended last year and how I played wasn’t good enough. I needed to get better and I put my mind to it. I’m extremely appreciative of this opportunity and it’s very special.”Pence dealt with a thumb injury early last season, when he played 97 games for San Francisco. He hit .226 with four homers and 24 RBIs http://www.padresfanproshop.com/authentic-brad-hand-jersey , all career lows, before playing winter ball.He played at Arlington High School and then at the University of Texas-Arlington, only a few miles from the Rangers home stadium.Calhoun is a left-handed hitter, like slugging corner outfielders Joey Gallo and Nomar Mazara, and designated hitter/outfielder Shin-Soo Choo. Delino DeShields, a right-hander, is expected to start in center.“He was not happy obviously, and rightfully so,” Woodward said of Calhoun, who came to camp after losing about 24 pounds during the offseason. “This will be a learning moment for him to see how mature he can handle the situation. It’s not an easy one. He has done everything we’ve asked.”Woodward previously was with the Dodgers. The Rangers got Calhoun from Los Angeles when they traded Yu Darvish during the 2017 season.
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