Brewers Season Outlook: Zack Greinke


-Curt Hogg-

Coming off a successful first season with the Brewers, the focal point of Zack Greinke’s off-season workout regiment was to avoid pick up basketball games at all costs.

All (bad) jokes aside, Greinke was, at times, the most dominant pitcher on the Brewers rotation in 2011, but failed to maintain his consistency throughout the season. In wins, Greinke held a 2.55 era with a 10.9 K/9 ratio, but struggled mightily when he was the losing pitcher. The 28-year-old right hander held a 7.96 era and averaged just over five innings pitched per start in games in which he was handed the “L.” Overall, Greinke finished with an impressive 16-6 record, a respectable 3.83 era, and a dazzling total of 201 strikeouts in merely 171.2 innings due to an early-season rib injury. He led the National League in K/9, beating out Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw and All Star Game starter Roy Halladay.

Yovani Gallardo is expected to get the Opening Day nod from manager Ron Roenicke, and this should come as no trouble to Greinke. The starter has a past of a social anxiety disorder that delayed his progression into the Majors.

Greinke can be slotted in to be an above-average second starter for the Brewers in 2012. Batters have yet to figure out his delicate mix of a high-velocity fastball with late life, improving change-up, low-70′s sharp curve, and nasty slide piece, and it’s unlikely Greinke will stray away from his four consecutive productive seasons, including the American League Cy Young Award in 2009.

His innings and pitch count will not be monitored as they were for his first three or four starts in 2011. Barring any injuries or other major setbacks, expect Greinke to top 200 innings pitched as he did from 2008-10 while in Kansas City. The late innings will be important for Greinke to keep the bullpen relatively fresh. After going the distance in nine games over the previous two seasons, he had no complete games in 2011. As a staff, Milwaukee only had one complete game for the entire season (Yovani Gallardo vs. Atlanta in April) and was aided by a very deep bullpen. The bullpen, with the losses of Takashi Saito and LaTroy Hawkins, doesn’t have the sixth-and-seventh-inning arms it possessed last season. More starters, Greinke specifically, will have to go deeper into games to prevent Roenicke from using Marco Estrada or Brandon Kintzler in the eighth.

Greinke’s mechanics are easily repeatable and his release point remains the same regardless of the pitch. Unless he simply loses his All Star-quality heater, hoopdy scoopdy, and slider, expect another phenomenal, punch out filled season from Greinke in 2012.

2012 prediction: 18-8, 3.30 era, 33 starts, 207 IP, 225 K, 59 BB, 1.13 WHIP, always wears the proper jersey.

3 Comments

Hey Curt,
I’m Todd Witter. I producer the popular comedy/quiz/interview show on public radio, “Michael Feldman’s Whad’Ya Know?” The show is live most Saturday mornings and is produced by Wisconsin Public Radio. It’s heard on over 250 Public Radio International stations.
Anyway, we love this story. Not this one about Zack, but your breaking the Ryan Braun story. We’re interested in chatting with you briefly on our show this Saturday morning (by phone, perhaps) at 11am.
Maybe we can chat about it more tomorrow sometime.
My email info is todd.witter (at) wpr.org. My number is 608-263-9518.
Talk to you soon (I hope).
Todd Witter
Producer – “Michael Feldman’s Whad’Ya Know?
821 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53706
http://www.notmuch.com
facebook.com/whadyaknow

Congratulations on getting #4 in the MLB BLog February list.
All those freaky accidents during Spring Training like A.J. Burnett just….well they just freak me out. bad karma.
-Emma

Hello my family member! I want to say that this
post is amazing, great written and include almost all vital infos.
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