Zack Greinke throws 10-minute bullpen session for D-backs

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) Zack Greinke threw for all of 10 minutes in his first bullpen of spring training, and those pitches provided plenty of positive vibes for everybody involved with Arizona watching the ace.

After an extensive warmup and stretching routine and some long toss in the outfield, the Diamondbacks' new $206.5 million man tossed to catcher Welington Castillo on Friday under cloudy skies that provided cool, comfortable workout conditions.

''Very nice,'' Castillo said on several pitches. Greinke didn't say much aside from regularly shaking his head.

Hall of Famer Randy Johnson took in Greinke's session from about 15 feet away along the back fence, while Arizona chief baseball officer Tony La Russa observed from a corner of the bullpen seated in a golf cart. Manager Chip Hale, hands tucked into this waistband, viewed Greinke from another corner.

De Jon Watson, the club's senior vice president of baseball operations, who was in the room when the surprising Greinke deal was reached, wore a smile.

''I just happened to be in the room,'' he said, thinking back to early December. ''He's a good kid. We're happy to have him.''

Watson is far from the only one.

''Outstanding, Zack! Way to go, baby!'' hollered D-backs super fan Susan Price from above the bullpen when Greinke and Castillo met in the middle for a handshake and short chat before switching stations.

Greinke signed a six-year contract with Arizona and chose the team, spurning NL West rivals Los Angeles and San Francisco. He dresses in the clubhouse next to reliever Tyler Clippard and infielder Jake Lamb.

Clippard gets a chuckle out of the fanfare surrounding Greinke but also understands the hype is well-deserved - even all the attention around the right-hander's first formal throwing session of the spring.

''That's kind of funny to me,'' Clippard said. ''It's a bullpen. For us pitchers, it's like going in and doing 30 sit-ups or something. It's not a big deal. I guess it is in a sense, it's important for us to get on the mound, get those reps and get prepared, and it is early in spring. We've thrown thousands of bullpens.''

Greinke and Clippard were throwing partners on Day 1 Thursday for pitchers and catchers at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, offering each other some general feedback along the way.

''It's always fun seeing guys work, getting a feel for how their ball spins and what their ball does, especially a guy like that,'' said Clippard, joining his third team in a year after spending 2015 with Oakland and the New York Mets.

Any former anxiety issues Greinke dealt with in the past seem to be of little concern to the D-backs brass.

''When Zack's pitching, the anxiety is (on) the team that's hitting against him. He's got it under control,'' La Russa said. ''There's nobody that's a better No. 1 than our guy, so we're looking forward to the anxiety being on the other side. It's not going to be on our side.''

Chris Herrmann is eager to work with Greinke when his turn comes to catch him.

''I can't wait. I see him on TV,'' said Herrmann, in his first season with Arizona after four years in Minnesota. ''He had a good year last year and I feel this year will be the same. It's going to be fun to be a part of that. He seems like a quiet guy. He keeps to himself, and so do I.''


AP Sports Writer Bob Baum contributed to this report.