Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Starting Pitcher – Zack Greinke
Zack Greinke’s tenure with the Kansas City Royals will be remembered for three different reasons. First, he almost left the game due to his battles with depression and anxiety after suffering a mental breakdown during a bullpen session in Spring Training. Then came his masterful 2009 season, when Greinke went 16-8 with a 2.16 ERA and a 1.073 WHiP, striking out 205 batters en route to winning the Cy Young award on a team that managed 65 wins all year. Finally, there was his trade, where Greinke wanted to be a part of a winning team.
While that trade with the Brewers helped bring in two keys to the Royals success in Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar, Greinke should be remembered for more than that. He was a pitcher who could dominate at times, the one pitching prospect from that time that put everything together and hit his potential.
Even though Greinke truly became an ace after leaving Kansas City, one could see the potential. His overall 60-69 record and 3.82 ERA may not seem impressive, but his final four seasons with the Royals show a vastly different pitcher. Playing on teams that could barely generate offense, Greinke posted a 46-39 record with a 3.32 ERA and a 1.210 WHiP, striking out 712 batters against 198 walks in 773.2 innings of work. That was the Greinke that the Royals had been hoping for.
Zack Greinke had begun to show that ace stature towards the end of his time with the Kansas City Royals. Yet, despite his trade to Milwaukee, he deserves a place upon the all time 25 man roster, slotting in behind Saberhagen in the rotation.
Next: Arguably the best pitcher in Royals history