Greinke pleased with mechanical change

Zack Greinke worried that a mechanical adjustment he’s making this spring would improve his control but cost him some velocity, and instead has seen improvements in both areas. Add it to the list of reasons he’s excited for the Brewers’ 2012 season to begin.

“I haven’t got the exact velocity reports, but it’s been the same to maybe a little bit better,” he said. “That’s really good news.”

Greinke has simplified his delivery, eliminating the shoulder “turn” he added in 2007, when he was working out of the Royals’ bullpen and was seeking more velocity. That move eventually “got a little bit out of control” and hurt his command. Greinke figures that’s the reason he had a 5.03 ERA from the 2010 All-Star break through the 2011 All-Star break — “not acceptable,” Greinke said.

When he started tinkering with a change, his numbers improved dramatically during the second half 2011 with the Brewers. When the simplified delivery felt good in early-camp bullpen sessions, Greinke committed.

His control, especially of off-speed pitches, is “without a doubt better,” Greinke said, and pitching feels easier on his arm.

He was supposed to continue the project on Sunday against the Rangers, but a dicey weather forecast prompted a change. Greinke threw 62 pitches over four innings of a morning simulated game instead, facing Brewers prospects Logan Schafer, Caleb Gindl, Eric Farris and Zelous Wheeler on an empty back field at Maryvale Baseball Park.

It was the best of the imperfect options, and at least it kept Greinke on schedule. He’s the only one of the Brewers’ projected starters without an off-day built in to his spring schedule, so he needed the work.

There was one topic Greinke declined to address Sunday: His contract, which is up after this season. The Brewers want to sign him to an extension, but Greinke said he was “done talking about anything with the contract.” He’d previously been been clear he’s open to a Brewers pitch.

“I feel refreshed,” Greinke said. “Just in a good place, mentally and physically.”

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