Greinke's next start will be in Minor League game

Greinke's next start will be in Minor League game

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Zack Greinke will start for the D-backs on Thursday, but it won't be in the Cactus League game against the Padres in Peoria.

Instead, the right-hander will face a team of Minor Leaguers on a back field at Salt River Fields.

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"We've given all the starters one Minor League start to iron out some different things they want to iron out," D-backs manager Chip Hale said.

Having Greinke pitch in the Minor League game accomplishes a couple of things.

First, as Hale pointed out, it is easier to work on particular pitch, or mechanical issue on the back fields than in front of a paid crowd.

In addition, if the club wants a pitcher to get up and sit down seven times to simulate seven innings, they can do that by ending innings early if need be.

Though sometimes teams will keep starting pitchers away from division opponents or teams they will face in the first couple of weeks of the season, that does not appear to be the motivation here.

"If you get too into it, you end up having your starters throw in a Minor League game almost every day," Hale said.

Minor League left-hander Anthony Banda will start against the Padres and Kyle Drabek, who was reassigned to Minor League camp earlier this month, will appear in relief.

"I'm excited to see Banda, and I know Drabek has been throwing really well down there," Hale said.

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.