Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Brewers Debut of Zack Greinke

After spending most of spring training and the first month of the season on the DL with a cracked rib, Brewers prized trade acquisition Zack Greinke finally made his first starts for the team last week. He was limited to a 90-pitch count in his first start following 3 minor league rehab starts, and he was understandably a little shaky, giving up 4 over 4 in Atlanta. Zack's home debut was far better, as he struck out 9 Padres over 6 innings of 2-run ball. Most importantly, he didn't walk anybody, and showed the filthy command and break on all 5 of his pitches that he had shown the last 2-3 years with Kansas City. It wasn't quite the fanfare that CC Sabathia got in his first home start following the July 2008 trade, but Miller Park still drew nearly 30,000 on a rainy Monday night and gave Zack a warm welcome, rally towels in hand.

Watching Zack evolve over the final 5 (hopefully 6) months of the season will definitely be interesting. The things I like most about Zack are his intense competitiveness and athleticism, and like Ryan Braun he always willing to put it all on the line for the team and is not afraid to say whatever he's thinking. But what worries me is this is already his 8th season, so at age 27, Greinke has already logged as many innings as a typical 30-31 year old would have. For this reason, and the fact that he has only had a couple of great seasons, I feel that his talents have already peaked. But if he can stay motivated to pitch for a potential contender after years with the cellar-dwelling Royals, he is still going to help the ballclub immensely. I've gone on record saying that Shaun Marcum was the bigger trade of the offseason and will be a stud in the NL Central, but the Brewers are still going to need Zack to perform to the best of his abilities for the season to be a success, and to help them get out of the current funk they're in by staying healthy and taking the ball every 5th day. He is still young and still has the potential to be a legitimate staff ace on a team that already has two in Marcum and Gallardo. Along with our sporadic yet deadly potent offense, it is only a matter of time before the Crew goes on a big run.

Brewers 15-20, -5.0 (3 v. Padres, 3 v. Pirates)
Reds 19-16, -1.0 (3 @ Astros, 3 v. Cardinals)
Twins 12-21, -10.0 (2 v. Tigers, 3 v. Blue Jays)

Erik - 3
Peter - 14

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