Zack Greinke

Zack Greinke

SP - HOU
Height: 6-2
Weight: 200 lbs
Age: 37
College: None
Houston Astros

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TheRotoFeedThis Week in Baseball History: May 10 16

Before there was Zack Greinke, we witnessed Mark "The Bird" Fidrych. The post This Week in Baseball History: May 10 – 16 appeared first on Pitcher List.

Source: TheRotoFeed
Monday, May 10, 2021

The ScoreJacob deGrom's a late bloomer. Will that affect his Hall of Fame chances?

When Cleveland's Trevor Stephan, a Rule 5 pick, took the mound at Comerica Park on April 3, he became the 10,000th person to pitch in a major-league game, according to the Baseball-Reference.com database. The total number of players in major-league history stands at 19,963. If it were possible to gather everyone who played in a major-league game and seat them in, say, Fenway Park, the stadium would remain far from capacity. And if it were possible to gather the entire collection of Hall of Fame starting pitchers and seat them in a couple of the field boxes behind home plate, they would only fill four and a half rows.Framed that way, you get a better sense of how few people have actually played in the majors, and how select it is to be in the company of other Hall of Famers. Out of the now 10,036 major leaguers to pitch in a game, out of countless millions who hoped to do so as amateurs, only 68 are enshrined primarily for their work as a starting pitcher.So it's worth asking: How much more does Jacob deGrom have to do to eventually become one of them?Has he done enough already? If his career is relatively short but brilliant, can he alter how voters consider Hall performance?The New York Mets' uber ace continues to dazzle the baseball world. He's the game's best starting pitcher since 2017 by WAR and ERA, and remarkably continues to improve in his early 30s. He's so good there is some talk about whether deGrom will have enough longevity, enough time on the field, to earn Hall of Fame enshrinement given the obstacle of the late start to his career. Tom Tango, MLB's senior data architect, ran a Twitter poll over the weekend, and the vast majority of respondents believed deGrom owns a 75% chance or better to make the Hall. How much more must he do to increase his chances? Icon Sportswire / Getty ImagesGiven his unreal performance and unusual career shape, there's no one like deGrom. It's tough to place him in context.In a couple months, deGrom will join Clayton Kershaw as a 33-year-old. DeGrom was a freshman shortstop at Stetson (Fla.) University when Kershaw broke into the major leagues in 2008. DeGrom didn't convert to pitching until he was a junior. By the time Kershaw won his first Cy Young in 2011, deGrom had made six starts in rookie ball and was recovering from Tommy John surgery.And just as he's changed what many thought possible about performance on a pitching mound - he's struck out 50 of the 101 batters he's faced this year and allowed only a single run - perhaps deGrom will also change what many think is necessary on a Hall of Fame resume. A Hall debate is often about the quality of a peak versus the accumulation of stats. Ideally, a candidate does both. But as innings are reduced across the board for starting pitchers, perhaps Cooperstown cases will become much more weighted toward peaks. By traditional standards, deGrom would face an impossible task. He'd have to win 228 more games to reach 300, which was traditionally a clincher for enshrinement. Yes, as dominant as deGrom's been, he has only 72 wins in 187 career starts despite a lifetime 2.55 ERA. Oh, those Mets teammates of his.He's also well short of late Roy Halladay's 203 wins, the fewest of any starting pitcher to be inducted since Rube Marquard in 1971 (201 wins).Perhaps the best historical comp for deGrom is Sandy Koufax, who finished with only 165 wins, well short of the average for a Hall of Fame starter (274.9 wins) at the time of his induction in 1972.Sandy Koufax in 2019. Jim McIsaac / Getty ImagesKoufax pitched 12 years, amassing four top-three finishes in Cy Young voting, all consecutive, winning three times from 1963-66. He retired at the peak of his powers following the 1966 season due to injuries. DeGrom owns two Cy Youngs and finished in the top eight in Cy Young voting four times since 2017. Koufax got into the Hall based largely on his brilliant four-year run. DeGrom enjoys a better career ERA+ (153) than Koufax (131), and deGrom's ERA+ since the start of 2017 (165) is near that of Koufax's 1963-66 run (172).If deGrom wins another Cy Young this year, is his resume much different from that of Koufax?There are some other outliers in terms of accumulation. Dizzy Dean (150 wins) and Addie Joss (160), who died of tuberculous meningitis in 1911 at age 31, are two others who didn't reach 200 wins. After the death of Addie Joss, several top players of the day played a benefit game in Cleveland on July 24, 1911. Among them were Walter Johnson (top row, 4th from left), and on the bottom row, Tris Speaker (2nd from left), and Ty Cobb (5th from left). Transcendental Graphics / GettyDeGrom, like almost all modern pitchers, faces an innings problem when it comes to reaching historical benchmarks. Of those 68 starting pitchers in the Hall of Fame, 56 reached 3,000 innings. No active players have pitched 3,000 innings and only two have exceeded 2,600: Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke. DeGrom stands four outs away from 1,200.BBWAA voters are slowly evolving in their practices and considerations. More voters are valuing new-age measures like wins above replacement, though not uniformly. By advanced measures, deGrom (38 WAR) doesn't have to go far to surpass Jack Morris' 43 career WAR. Some voters are devaluing wins. They're well aware of the lack of support deGrom's teammates often give him and they know that careers and outings are shortening.And if one weighs peak performance heavily over longevity, there's an argument to be made that deGrom's already a Hall of Famer.Consider that on a WAR-per-inning basis, the only pitcher to throw at least 1,000 innings and rank better than deGrom is Mariano Rivera, who, of course, was a reliever.Moreover, deGrom's career ERA+, which adjusts for ballpark and run environments, trails only that of Rivera, Kershaw, and Pedro Martinez among all pitchers to have tossed at least 1,000 innings.If deGrom records another top-five finish in WAR this year, he'll join Bob Gibson and Greg Maddux in an eighth-place tie with three such all-time finishes.In looking at the best seven years of a pitching career, deGrom does rank quite well, sitting 108th.On a pure skills basis, few have been more talented. He also keeps getting better. Consider that his swinging strike rate was a record for a starting pitcher last season at 20% and it's climbed to 24% this season. He owns the top two and four of the top 10 fastball velocity seasons for starting pitchers at ages when those speeds are usually in decline. No one owns deGrom's blend of command, pitch diversity, or velocity.Perhaps deGrom will make this debate moot and have a Randy Johnson-like career in his mid-to-late 30s. After age 32, Johnson recorded 199 wins to become the last modern-era player to reach 300 wins.Randy Johnson at his Hall of Fame ceremony in 2018. Mark Cunningham / Getty ImagesAnother way to consider who ought to be in the Hall is to consider performance compared to that player's contemporaries, rather than historical benchmarks. For instance, there are only 17 active pitchers with 100 or more wins and only two have reached 200 (Verlander has 226, Greinke 210).As MLB.com's Mike Petriello found, only 3.5% of all pitchers who recorded 500 or more innings have reached the Hall. DeGrom is near the top 3.5% of his contemporaries. Among 21st century pitchers, deGrom ranks within the top 5% in WAR among pitchers to throw at least 500 innings.The problem is that recent generations of pitchers are underrepresented in Cooperstown.For instance, Petriello found 4.8% of pitchers born between 1931-40 reached the Hall. In 1941-50 it was 3.7%, falling to 2.5% in 1951-60. It leveled out a bit in 1961-70 (2.7%) before crashing to 0.8% for 1971-1980 birth years.Halladay and Martinez are the only two starting pitchers in the Hall who were born within the last 50 years. Players born later? Good luck, especially if ballots remain crowded and constrained by a maximum of 10 affirmative votes per ballot.Who knows what the voting electorate will look like five years after deGrom stops pitching. Who knows how Hall standards might have changed. Who knows what numbers deGrom might have accumulated. But whether it's deGrom or another pitcher with a short but brilliant career, the question of what it means to be a Hall of Famer is going to be tested.Travis Sawchik is theScore's senior baseball writer. Follow him on Twitter at @Travis_Sawchik.Copyright © 2021 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Source: The Score
Wednesday, Apr 28, 2021

The ScoreMLB Power Rankings: A's are on fire, but what's wrong with the Twins?

Welcome to the third edition of theScore's MLB Power Rankings for the 2021 season. Our rankings come out biweekly, so there's been plenty of changes early on: 1. Los Angeles Dodgers Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 15-7 5-5 +32 1 (-) So far, so good for a Dodgers team that's lived up to just about every expectation as a juggernaut. The defending champions own MLB's best record and run differential. Five of their seven losses came in the last eight days, including four to the rival Padres, but that's hardly a cause for concern. These Dodgers are phenomenal.2. San Diego Padres Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 13-11 4-6 +9 2 (-) San Diego has gone toe-to-toe with the Dodgers thus far, taking three of a four-game set at Dodger Stadium and losing a couple of close contests at Petco Park. The Padres also weathered an early storm when Fernando Tatis Jr. suffered a shoulder injury, although Dinelson Lamet's continued arm issues could come back to hurt them. Still, the Padres have shown why they may be the one team that could legitimately challenge L.A.3. Oakland Athletics Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 14-8 9-1 -2 22 (+19) "Moneyball" nearly had its sequel 19 years after the A's won 20 straight games, but the Orioles stopped Oakland s win streak at 13 on Sunday. The A's outscored opponents 83-36 during the streak, which was the longest in the majors since 2017. It came after Oakland began the season losing seven of its first eight games.4. Chicago White Sox Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 12-9 7-3 +21 6 (+2) The White Sox field the AL's second-highest scoring offense, but that might not be the most exciting development early on. Michael Kopech has been incredible during his return from Tommy John surgery. The right-hander struck out 10 over five innings Sunday, and he now owns a 1.72 ERA and 0.70 WHIP to go with 27 strikeouts in 15 2/3 innings.5. Boston Red Sox Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 14-9 5-5 +20 12 (+7) The Red Sox have been one of the early-season surprises, though the AL East leaders have stumbled a bit following a hot start. Boston's pitching ranks 20th in WHIP and 23rd in ERA over the last week. Walks have especially been a problem, with the staff issuing the second-most free passes in the AL. Denis Poroy / Getty Images Sport / Getty6. Milwaukee Brewers Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 13-8 7-3 +18 17 (+11) Pitching has propelled the Brewers to an early NL Central lead, with Corbin Burnes leading the way while emerging as an ace. In addition to a sparkling 0.37 ERA and 0.33 WHIP, Burnes has yet to walk a batter in four starts. The trio of Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, and Freddy Peralta has allowed just 12 earned runs and three homers in April.7. San Francisco Giants Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 14-8 6-4 +10 20 (+13) The Giants are surprisingly holding on to second place in the NL West. Their 2.94 staff ERA through 21 games is certainly helping as the team's offense struggles (88 wRC+). Although the club's plus-10 run differential suggests things will even out, two of the Giants' next three series are against the struggling Rockies, so they could keep this going for a little longer. We may not get to truly judge this team until it faces the Dodgers in a few weeks.8. Toronto Blue Jays Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 10-11 5-5 +11 9 (+1) Despite myriad concerns about the team's pitching staff entering the season and multiple injuries, the Jays have authored the AL's best ERA, and they only trail the Padres, Dodgers, and Giants in the majors. Offseason acquisition Steven Matz has been instrumental in that while posting a sterling 2.31 ERA and 3.29 FIP over his first four starts. The success of Matz and the rest of the staff might not be sustainable, but the Blue Jays' pitchers are performing well so far.9. New York Mets Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 9-8 5-5 -11 5 (-4) The Mets' pitching has been worth an MLB-best 4.0 fWAR this season, yet New York is only a game over .500. Poor run creation (3.3 runs per game) and lackluster defense (minus-7 DRS) were big contributors to New York's series loss to the Cubs, when the Mets were outscored by 15 runs while committing six errors.10. Atlanta Braves Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 9-12 5-5 -12 4 (-6) The Braves' season isn't going to plan early, but no team is running away with the NL East yet. Atlanta's offense fell flat during a doubleheader Sunday, mustering one hit across the 14 innings. However, Ronald Acuna Jr. has been unbelievable, Freddie Freeman looks great, and the club's front office may have found something in Guillermo Heredia. On the pitching side, the team's 4.00 FIP ranks 20th in the majors with Max Fried sidelined. Charlie Morton has been impressive, but he wasn't expected to be this team's ace, and Ian Anderson has yet to take his game to the next level. Julio Aguilar / Getty Images Sport / Getty11. Tampa Bay Rays Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 11-11 6-4 -5 14 (+3) Injuries have decimated the Rays' pitching staff, and the team ranks in the bottom third in the league in ERA and opponent's batting average. However, those injuries have opened the door for a pair of youngsters. Josh Fleming owns a 1.23 ERA and 0.95 WHIP through 14 2/3 innings, and top pitching prospect Luis Patino tossed 2 2/3 shutout innings in his debut with the team Sunday.12. Kansas City Royals Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 13-7 7-3 +3 19 (+7) The AL-leading Royals have become one of the most exciting teams through the first month. But there are tons of reasons why that doesn't seem sustainable. Entering Sunday, their offense has been middle-of-the-pack, and the only regulars with a wRC+ greater than 120 are Carlos Santana and Salvador Perez. The same can be said of the Royals' pitching, which has been the definition of average, though Brady Singer continues to look like a potential ace. Don't write Kansas City off, but don't buy in fully just yet.13. Houston Astros Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 10-11 4-6 +18 3 (-10) The Astros have come back down to Earth following a strong start when they thumped the opposition. Their offense remains predictably elite, ranking third in the league behind the Red Sox and White Sox in wRC+. But pitching has let them down. Zack Greinke has looked decent and Cristian Javier has been legit over a small sample, but almost everyone else is disappointing. Jake Odorizzi has run into home run trouble, surrendering three over eight innings with a 10.13 ERA.14. New York Yankees Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 9-12 4-6 -8 7 (-7) The Yankees are tied for last in their division, and while they shouldn't be expected to stay there, New York may be experiencing some problems. The team's pitching has been surprisingly decent while leading the AL in WAR. What's really troubling is how terrible the Yankees have been at hitting and defense. Everyone not named Aaron Judge has looked unrecognizable at the plate. Giancarlo Stanton, Clint Frazier, and Aaron Hicks have all posted sub-.300 OBPs. Even DJ LeMahieu and Gary Sanchez are slugging around the .350 mark. It's just not good enough.15. St. Louis Cardinals Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 11-10 5-5 +4 15 (-) Yadier Molina joined an elite club early this season, becoming just the fifth player to catch 2,000 career games. That's a lot of mileage, but it's not stopping the 38-year-old from leading the Cardinals' offense with five homers and a 1.044 OPS. The Cardinals made a big splash with their trade for Nolan Arenado, but Yadi is keeping them afloat in the early going. Dilip Vishwanat / Getty Images Sport / Getty16. Cincinnati Reds Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 9-12 2-8 +11 13 (-3) The last-place Reds have lost seven straight. They're also missing Mike Moustakas because of an injury, while key pieces Eugenio Suarez, Luis Castillo, and Amir Garrett have struggled. Despite all that, David Bell's club owns a respectable plus-11 run differential because of its potent offense that's hit 32 home runs. It's far too early to write this team off.17. Philadelphia Phillies Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 10-11 4-6 -15 10 (-7) This is the Bryce Harper the Phillies paid $330 million for in 2019. The 2015 NL MVP is leading the Phillies' offense with a 1.132 OPS while drawing as many walks as strikeouts. He's the main reason why the Phillies are treading water with Andrew McCutchen slumping, Jean Segura on the injured list, and multiple players and coaches away due to COVID-19.18. Minnesota Twins Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 7-13 2-8 -9 8 (-10) Where the heck is the offense? Minnesota ranks 23rd in the majors in home runs, with Byron Buxton and Nelson Cruz accounting for 13 of the team's 21 long balls. It's really been difficult for the Twins to manufacture runs, and they've scored two or fewer times in seven of their last 10 games. Max Kapler has yet to go deep in 47 at-bats, while Miguel Sano is slugging just .244.19. Seattle Mariners Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 13-9 6-4 +4 23 (+4) Are the Mariners for real? Seattle sits one game behind the A's for first place in the AL West thanks to a .636 road-winning percentage, and Kendall Graveman leading a surprisingly good bullpen. Opponents are hitting .038 against the Mariners right-hander, and he's allowed one hit and zero runs to go along with 10 strikeouts in 8 2/3 innings.20. Los Angeles Angels Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 10-10 3-7 -17 11 (-9) It's hard not to connect Mike Trout's absence to the Astros walloping the Angels. Los Angeles dropped three of four over the weekend, getting outscored 31-12 with their superstar outfielder sidelined. However, while losing Trout would be an issue for any team, pitching is holding the Angels back, as their 5.22 ERA is the league's worst. The saving grace, though, is that their 3.75 FIP is respectable, and Andrew Heaney, Alex Cobb, Dylan Bundy, and others should eventually get better results. Quinn Harris / Getty Images Sport / Getty21. Chicago Cubs Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 10-11 5-5 -2 21 (-) In the five days since Joc Pederson sounded off on the sorry state of his team's offense, the Cubs' bats have come alive to the tune of a 141 wRC+. That breakout was sorely needed, as Chicago had owned the league's second-worst offense. The Cubs still need more over a longer period, and Pederson himself could step up after returning from the IL. But it must be comforting for manager David Ross to see even a bit of life at the plate.22. Cleveland Indians Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 9-11 3-7 0 16 (-6) Without elite pitching, the Indians aren't an especially fearsome team. And their pitching hasn't been elite so far this year. Shane Bieber is still otherworldly, and Aaron Civale may be taking a step forward, though his FIP indicates regression. But no one else has shown an ability to fill Mike Clevinger's spot. Young stud Triston McKenzie is coming off a stinker against the Yankees, and he now owns a 4.32 ERA and 5.97 FIP.23. Arizona Diamondbacks Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 11-11 7-3 +8 25 (+2) Entering Sunday, the Diamondbacks were the only team with a pitching staff worth negative WAR. So, what did Zac Gallen and Madison Bumgarner do? Allow one hit over 14 total innings of a doubleheader against the Braves. When healthy, Gallen has been a great starter, but Bumgarner has looked downright pedestrian prior to his most recent outing. If Bumgarner can be the horse Arizona thought he was when they signed him, then maybe - just maybe - this team can stay in the wild-card mix.24. Washington Nationals Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 8-11 5-5 -24 18 (-6) The Nationals' offense is in a funk. Washington has been shut out five times while scoring just 3.3 runs per game. Josh Bell and Kyle Schwarber have combined for two homers, and Trea Turner is striking out in 26% of his at-bats. The return of Juan Soto, who could be back in the lineup before the end of the month, can t come soon enough. Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images Sport / Getty25. Miami Marlins Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 9-12 4-6 +1 24 (-1) Rookie second baseman Jazz Chisholm Jr. is breaking out as an all-around threat. In addition to his stellar defense, the 23-year-old owns a .904 OPS with four homers and four steals, and he's tied for the second-highest WAR at his position. The Marlins may have found their much-needed offensive spark plug.26. Baltimore Orioles Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 9-12 4-6 -6 27 (+1) The Orioles are tied for last place in the division, but it hasn't been all bad news in Baltimore. John Means shut down the A's on Sunday, ending their 13-game winning streak in the process. The left-hander owns a 1.50 ERA - the fourth-best mark in the majors - and a 0.87 WHIP across five starts. He's Baltimore's only starter with an ERA under 4.50.27. Colorado Rockies Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 8-13 5-5 +6 26 (-1) The Rockies' offense ranks 19th in WAR, which is quite the feat for a team playing its home games at a high altitude. Charlie Blackmon, who briefly flirted with .400 last year, is hitting .153 with a 45 OPS+. Trevor Story has slugged only two home runs. German Marquez can defy the altitude and pitch like an ace, but if the Rockies aren't hitting, their season might get even uglier than most prognosticators expected.28. Pittsburgh Pirates Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 11-11 6-4 -10 30 (+2) It took Pittsburgh 10 fewer games to collect their 10th win in 2021 compared to last season, so it's already been an encouraging start. Part of that success is due to JT Brubaker. The right-hander has posted a 2.01 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, and 23 strikeouts in 22 1/3 innings.29. Texas Rangers Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 9-13 4-6 -18 29 (-) Texas has actually faired pretty well considering 16 of its 22 games have come against teams with a .500 or better record. Adolis Garcia, acquired from the Cardinals in 2019, has been a nice surprise. He leads the team with a .927 OPS and five home runs. Joey Gallo boasts one of the weirder stat lines in MLB. He's recorded just one extra-base hit and 30 strikeouts over 66 at-bats, but Gallo leads the majors with 21 walks.30. Detroit Tigers Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 7-15 1-9 -37 28 (-2) The Tigers dropped their fourth straight game Sunday and have notched just two series wins. However, Matthew Boyd hasn't been part of Detroit s inferiority. Opposing hitters are batting just .189 against the left-hander, who ranks fourth in the AL in ERA. This is coming after Boyd tied for the major-league lead in homers allowed last season. Maybe the Tigers can get some value for him if they decide to make a trade.Copyright © 2021 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Source: The Score
Monday, Apr 26, 2021


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