PHOENIX -- Zack Greinke worried that the mechanical adjustment he's making this spring would improve his control but cost him some velocity. Instead he has seen improvements in both areas, another reason he's excited for the season to begin. "I haven't got the exact velocity reports, but it's been the same to maybe a little bit better," Greinke said. "That's really good news." Greinke has simplified his delivery, eliminating the "turn" he added in 2007, when he was working out of the Royals' bullpen and 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," he said.
When Greinke started tinkering with a change, his numbers improved dramatically during the second half of 2011 with the Brewers. When the simplified delivery felt good in early bullpen sessions in camp, Greinke committed to it.His control, especially of his offspeed pitches, is "without a doubt better," he said, and pitching feels easier on his arm. Greinke was supposed to continue the project on Sunday against the Rangers, but a dicey weather forecast prompted a change. Instead he threw 62 pitches over four innings of a morning simulated game, 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 into his spring schedule, so he needed the work. There was one topic Greinke declined to address on Sunday: his contract, which is up after this season. The Brewers want to sign him to an extension, but he said he is "done talking about anything with the contract." He'd previously made it clear that he's open to hearing a Brewers' pitch. "I feel refreshed," he said. "Just in a good place, mentally and physically."