Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Zack Greinke was expected to be an ace, but one had to wonder if he would ever be the pitcher that the Kansas City Royals had hoped for. He had walked away from baseball after suffering a mental breakdown during a bullpen session in 2006, but later came back to appear in relief with the Royals. He put his anxiety issues behind him in 2007, and in 2009, won the Cy Young award despite pitching on a team that won only 65 games during the season.
Traded to the Milwaukee Brewers, Greinke began to put together a solid resume, but his career truly took off when he signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Instead of caving in under the glare of the big city spotlight, Greinke has gone forth and put together three dominant seasons, highlighted by his impressive 43.2 scoreless inning streak this season.
Despite only making three All-Star teams, Greinke’s overall statistics are solid. While his 132-92 record with a 3.40 ERA and a 1.198 WHiP may not seem like potential Hall of Fame numbers, one has to look at his statistics since heading to the Dodgers. In his two and a half years there, Greinke has posted a 41-14 record with a 2.32 ERA and a 1.054 WHiP. At age 31, if he can replicate that production over the next two or three years, Greinke could find himself in the conversation for induction.
While it may be a matter of extrapolation as to whether or not Zack Greinke could end up in the Hall of Fame at some point, his career is beginning to trend that way. It would be a nice way to finish off a career that almost never started, a fitting capstone to the former Kansas City Royals pitcher’s perseverance.
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