Greinke set for first D-backs start Friday

De La Rosa gets nod for Cactus League opener, followed by Ray

Greinke set for first D-backs start Friday

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Zack Greinke will make his D-backs debut Friday against the A's at Salt River Fields.

Right-hander Matt Koch starts Tuesday against the University of Arizona and Rubby De La Rosa will get the nod in Wednesday's Cactus League opener against the Rockies.

Robbie Ray, who is competing for the No. 5 spot in the rotation, will start Thursday, Greinke on Friday, Shelby Miller on Saturday and Patrick Corbin on Sunday.

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The decision to start Greinke on Friday not only lines him up nicely for his April 4 Opening Day start against the Rockies, but also gives him some additional time to get ready for his first spring start.

"If you look at the last few years, he's historically a little bit slow in spring," D-backs pitching coach Mike Butcher said.

Greinke to start on Opening Day

Provided the D-backs stay in rotation and manager Chip Hale sticks to his plan of giving his pitchers an extra day after an off-day rather than skipping someone, Greinke's first three starts of the year will be Opening Day, April 9 against the Cubs at Chase Field and April 15 against the Padres in San Diego.

If Greinke starts April 15 against the Padres, he would miss the D-backs' series with the Dodgers (April 12-14) in Los Angeles. Greinke pitched for the Dodgers the past three seasons before signing a six-year, $206.5 million free-agent deal with Arizona this past December.

Beyond Greinke, the D-backs have not set their rotation alignment. As of right now, the other pitchers who have spots in the rotation are Miller, Corbin and De La Rosa.

Ray, Archie Bradley, Zack Godley and Tyler Wagner are among those competing for the final spot in the rotation.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.