It’s been written about in numerous articles, but the Arizona Diamondbacks enter the 2018 regular season with big expectations and a desire to make it back to the postseason.

Paul Goldschmidt, Robbie Ray and, most importantly, Zack Greinke headline the talented club and will likely be the key contributors this year.

Greinke is the most important piece because of his status as one of the game’s better pitchers and the fact that he has seen a major dip in his velocity during Spring Training. He has also been dealing with a groin injury, so his status as Arizona’s Opening Day starter is still in question.

Usually hovering in the high 80s to low 90s with his fastballs, Greinke has seen a sharp decline to as low as 85 mph with his fastballs at the beginning of Spring Training.

This isn’t to say a pitcher who doesn’t throw particularly hard can’t be successful. Just look at Mark Buehrle’s career. It can, however, be a serious adjustment for some pitchers who have been accustomed to throwing at certain speeds and have to figure out how to get batters out with non-overpowering stuff.

An example would be Tim Lincecum, who used to throw in the high 90s in the late 2010s and struggled to find his footing at the big league level once his velocity fell off. He has since signed with the Texas Rangers, but there were times in recent years when it was unclear whether Lincecum would ever throw another MLB pitch.

Greinke is coming off an all-star season and has a great track record from his time with the Royals, Dodgers and Diamondbacks, but the velocity decline is cause for concern.

The Diamondbacks need Greinke to be a rock from the start of the season to ensure they can keep up with the Dodgers and Rockies within the division and can’t afford for Greinke to struggle too much.

A drop in velocity isn’t a death sentence for a pitcher, and there’s no reason to think this could be a blip on the radar and Greinke could be back to his typical self by Opening Day.

If it is a long-term aspect of his game, however, Greinke is the man to overcome such an obstacle and find success.

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Content Creator at Armchair Arizona Diamondbacks , The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
I have loved baseball my entire life. From the time I was four years old and my uncle introduced me to Sammy Sosa and the Chicago Cubs to now, baseball has occupied my thinking every day for the past 15 years of my life. Although I don’t play anymore, writing allows me to stay connected with the game I love and provide insight to and spark discussions with others who love the game as much as I do. As for my fandom, I grew up a Cubs fan watching them on WGN and praying for the year when they’d finally break through and win the elusive World Series. November 2, 2016 will go down as one of the best days of my life. Everything is right in the world when pitchers and catchers report to Arizona and Florida in mid-February.
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Content Creator at Armchair Arizona Diamondbacks , The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
I have loved baseball my entire life. From the time I was four years old and my uncle introduced me to Sammy Sosa and the Chicago Cubs to now, baseball has occupied my thinking every day for the past 15 years of my life. Although I don’t play anymore, writing allows me to stay connected with the game I love and provide insight to and spark discussions with others who love the game as much as I do. As for my fandom, I grew up a Cubs fan watching them on WGN and praying for the year when they’d finally break through and win the elusive World Series. November 2, 2016 will go down as one of the best days of my life. Everything is right in the world when pitchers and catchers report to Arizona and Florida in mid-February.

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