There have been plenty of articles written about the Zack Greinke trade. There were plenty of great opinions both positive and negative. Personally, I like the trade quite a bit, but that’s not what today’s post is about. Anyone who watched the Royals for the past four years knows how great Zack Greinke was. He was an interesting character and a fascinating pitcher. He seemed like he could do anything he wanted on the mound. Opposing batters never seemed to know what was going to happen next, and I’m not sure Zack did either. I will certainly miss that little twinge of excitement when I looked at the pitching matchup and Greinke was on the slate. Not only did the Royals have a good chance of winning, but there was a pretty good chance that I was going to see something spectacular.
The bottom line is that Greinke was one of the best pitchers to ever put on a Royals uniform. At his peak, he might have been the best, but he won’t have the longevity to be a part of the Royals Hall of Fame. To honor Greinke and what he did in Royal blue, I thought I’d take a look at where he will end up ranked (barring a return) amongst the Royals Greats in some statistical categories.
I used the Baseball-Reference method of 500 IP or 50 decisions to be on the rate stat leader board. Stats courtesy of http://www.baseball-reference.com
I was certainly a little surprised to find that Grienke was 10th in innings pitched as a Kansas City Royal, and if he’d pitched another year he’d have likely made it to 7th.
|16.||Bruce Dal Canton||3.76||555.0|
This stat is sort of misleading considering Greinke played in an era where there were a lot more runs scored on average, but it is a testament to a franchise that has had some pretty good pitchers in it’s history.
Zack could always strike guys out and it was awesome to watch. I hoped he’d join the 1,000 strikeout club and possibly be the first member of the 2,000 club, but we don’t always get what we hope for.
We all know that the win statistic is the most over-rated one in existence and it doesn’t tell you a whole lot about the pitcher. However, it’s pretty amazing that Zack compiled the 12th most wins in team history while playing for some of the worst teams to wear the KC on their hats.
Hit By Pitch
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Zack could certainly be wild at times, and he wasn’t afraid of anyone. His arsenal of pitches, velocity and command combined with just that rough edge where you weren’t sure whether he was throwing at you on purpose or on accident was always fun to watch.
Strikeouts per 9 IP
We already discussed strikeouts, but this list was too interesting to ignore. Greinke ranks highest amongst starters in Royals history in strikeouts per nine innings. Who would have guessed that Gil Meche would be higher than Saberhagen on this list? Ah, Jose Rosado, I’ll always remember what could have been.
Just a sampling of some of the Royals all-time pitching leaders. Zack wasn’t the best to wear the uniform, but his 2009 season was probably the best single season pitching performance. His contributions to the team won’t be replicated in the near future, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t have been traded.
I don’t really like how his exit from the team has gone so far. There has been some mud slinging and some media and former teammates have taken some pot shots at Greinke. The kid is gone from the team, that can’t be changed now. As fans, we watched him grow and mature. We told fans of other teams how great he was, and we celebrated his Cy Young as if it partly belonged to us. His stats with the Royals will always be there, and we’ll always have 2009.