PHOENIX -- If Zack Greinke seems ahead of the curve, it's because he's gotten a chance to use it more often. The curveball, that is.
The Brewers right-hander said Tuesday -- after he held the Mariners to just one hit and one walk, while striking out five in three innings of work at Maryvale Baseball Park -- that he's been able to hone his offspeed repertoire earlier than in years past, accelerating his progress this spring.
"I need to work on all that stuff," Greinke said. "The fastball was pretty good coming in, so I wanted to work on pitching a little bit, mixing speeds, which some people aren't doing yet and it might be why I've done a little better than usual to start the spring. Usually I'm just fastball-changeup early on."
Greinke said he used his curve sparingly Tuesday, mixing it in with his slider and changeup. He also said he was able to use his cut fastball more than he's been able to recently, since the Seattle lineup had more left-handed hitters than he's seen recently.
"Today I threw it a decent amount," Greinke said of the cutter. "There were a couple that weren't perfect, but it came along pretty well and I was happy with that. Now, it's pretty much just not falling in love with it and using it in the right spots."
Greinke was making his third appearance and second start of the spring and now has allowed just one earned run in seven innings of work, striking out 11. He threw 48 pitches on Tuesday, and said he'll ramp up his pitch count to 55 or 60 in his next start.