Coming off their fourth consecutive season of missing the playoffs the Arizona Diamondbacks knew they had to flip the script this winter to compete in the top-heavy National League West.
In early December the D-backs sent shock waves through baseball luring prized free agent ace Zack Greinke away from the rival Los Angeles Dodgers. Arizona’s front office further cemented the staff adding Shelby Miller and most recently set up stud Tyler Clippard.
As spring training approaches there is a buzz around a team some feel are ready to make a run for a post-season spot after winning 79 games in 2014.
It begins and ends with Greinke who one former pitcher compares to one of the games’ all-time greats.
“To me, in my era through the 80’s and 90’s, Greg Maddux was the ultimate,” Diamondbacks’ radio color analyst Tom Candiotti told Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat in a phone interview Wednesday morning. “Greinke is probably the guy in this day and age that is probably as close to Maddux as anybody that I’ve seen.”
Candiotti, a 150-game MLB-winner himself, says Greinke’s versatility effectively throwing an array of different pitches, regardless of the ball-strike count or situation, helps separate him as one of the best starters in the current era.
“All the stuff that made Maddux great I see with Greinke,” he explained to Cesmat. “A very simple delivery like Maddux had. Didn’t put a lot of stress on his arm at all. He’s that type of pitcher.”
Greinke, along with the other Diamondbacks’ pitchers and catchers, officially report to Salt River Fields on Wednesday, February 17th.