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PunkinDrublic
02-07-2007, 08:24 AM
Talent intact, Greinke is back
posted: Tuesday, February 6, 2007 | Feedback | Print Entry

Zack Greinke's legs were folded underneath him, Indian-style, as he waited for his turn in the Kansas City bullpen this past Sept. 24. The Royals were about to play their final home game of the season, and with the roster expanded, a handful of Kansas City pitchers needed to get in some throwing. Nothing serious, just some daily maintenance work from the rubber.

When it was Greinke's turn to take the mound, he peeled off his jacket and stepped to the rubber. "He threw 15 four-seam fastballs," recalled Kansas City general manager Dayton Moore, "and hits the glove every time." The bullpen catcher shifted his target, move over the inside corner, the outside corner, down. It didn't matter; Greinke's control was flawless. Pop ... pop ... pop .... "It was a thing of beauty," Moore said. "His delivery repeated, every single pitch. The guy is talented."

Greinke had reached the big leagues at age 20, produced a respectable 3.97 ERA in 24 starts in 2004. He was considered to be one of the best young pitchers in baseball, and, because of his remarkable control and the movement on his fastball, he was often compared to Greg Maddux.

But Greinke went 5-17 with a 5.80 ERA in 2005, and this past spring, he left the Royals' camp after only a few days, because of psychological issues related to anxiety. He received treatment, returned to the minor leagues and threw well -- better than his numbers indicate, Moore believes -- and will be an intriguing member of the Royals' pitching staff in spring training.

Moore replaced Allard Baird as Royals' general manager in the midst of the 2006 season, and met Greinke for the first time this past summer. "He's very polite, considerate," Moore said. "He's a gentleman. He's a typical 22-year-old kid, put into a situation faster ..."

Moore's voice trailed off. As a member of the Atlanta front office, he recommended many young players for the big leagues, based on the player's swing, his performance, his pitch quality. Sometimes a player seems ready because of his ability, when in fact he might not be ready to handle the major leagues. The great unknown, Moore said, is how a player will react to the highest level of competition, and all that goes along with it. There is no way to know for sure, until the player is in the big leagues, and sometimes, mistakes are made.

"I'm guilty of making those kinds of recommendations myself," said Moore. "I know how it can happen."

Greinke turned 23 in the fall, and he is not expected to be the guy who leads the staff into the future. Gil Meche will have that pressure on his shoulders, after signing a five-year, $55 million deal this offseason. Odalis Perez will be in the rotation, along with Luke Hudson. Jorge de la Rosa has thrown well in winter ball, and may well be the No. 4 starter. Greinke is one of the candidates to fill a spot at the back end of Kansas City's rotation. "He's going to get every opportunity to win a spot in our rotation," Moore said. "If he pitches up to the caliber of pitcher he has been in the past, he should win a spot."

Moore recalled another moment from September, in Greinke's first appearance in the big leagues since rejoining the organization. The Royals were playing the Tigers and Greinke came into the game with a runner at first base and nobody out. He got Ivan Rodriguez to hit into a fielder's choice, then got a couple of pop-ups, looking in command. "It's all there with Zack," Moore said.

The reports of his offseason preparation are excellent, Moore said. "From what people tell me -- people who know him -- this is the first offseason, where he's been excited about spring training."

BigChiefFan
02-07-2007, 08:33 AM
I hope Greinke can get his mental game down. He's got a lot of talent and very little confidence. I hope he gets it together.

RockChalk
02-07-2007, 08:52 AM
I hope so too.

I know the Royals will be lucky to be play .500 ball this year, but I'm excited. I usually go to about 20 games a year and probably ended up going to about 2/3 of their games last Aug/Sep. It was fun watching Teahen have one of the best month runs from the plate that I've seen a young player have.

Thig Lyfe
02-07-2007, 09:37 AM
I really hope Moore can get this team to a higher level. He seems to know what he's doing.

Pitt Gorilla
02-07-2007, 09:55 AM
I'm not sure he'll make the rotation, but the reports on him sound promising. Play ball!!!

banyon
02-07-2007, 12:27 PM
Hopefully Guy Hansen didn't permanently ruin him.

BigChiefFan
02-07-2007, 12:58 PM
It's nice knowing we don't have to depend on R. Hernadez as one of the pitchers in the starting line-up this year. When Greinke is iffy to make the starting line-up, that's a good sign the rotation has gotten better. Nice job, Dayton Moore!

FringeNC
02-07-2007, 01:36 PM
The Royals will almost certainly suck this year, but this is the first year in a while that there is some hope. If Greinke returns to phenom status, if Meche is the pitcher Moore hoped, if Hudson wasn't a fluke last year, etc...

Sure, all those things almost certainly won't happen, but at least we are fielding a team with some players that have real upside. That's something, at least.

HemiEd
02-07-2007, 01:54 PM
It has been a very long time since I felt this enthusiastic about an upcoming Royals season.

MGRS13
02-07-2007, 02:09 PM
It has been a very long time since I felt this enthusiastic about an upcoming Royals season.
WOW talk about setting your self up for a fall. Unless less you mean you are enthusiastic because the royals might only lose 99 games this year.

petegz28
02-07-2007, 02:25 PM
WOW talk about setting your self up for a fall. Unless less you mean you are enthusiastic because the royals might only lose 99 games this year.


I will go on record right now saying Royals are .500 or better this year.

HemiEd
02-07-2007, 02:52 PM
WOW talk about setting your self up for a fall. Unless less you mean you are enthusiastic because the royals might only lose 99 games this year.


Not really, having watched them through the good times and then the bad times, I think they finally have a GM that will make them competitive again.
I am pretty confident they will be competitive. Will they win the division? Nah, but they should not be the laughing stock of MLB baseball anymore.
I feel better about their direction than I do about the Chiefs right now.

sportsman1
02-07-2007, 03:57 PM
I will go on record right now saying Royals are .500 or better this year.

and I will go on record as saying The Royals will WIN the World Series..........

Lets see how that turns out....

DaneMcCloud
02-07-2007, 04:15 PM
I will go on record right now saying Royals are .500 or better this year.

You said that last year. A lot of good it did.

PinkFloyd
02-07-2007, 04:21 PM
I'm going as far as saying the Royals will be about only 10 games out of first place at the All Star break..

That ---- would be awesome...

petegz28
02-07-2007, 04:37 PM
You said that last year. A lot of good it did.


uh..no, no I didn't.


Put down the pipe son.

Deberg_1990
02-07-2007, 04:42 PM
im going on record and saying the Royals wont sniff the playoffs this year!

PinkFloyd
02-07-2007, 04:52 PM
im going on record and saying the Royals wont sniff the playoffs this year!


I see them coming CLOSER next year... Then --- the year after next ----

PRINT'EM !!!!!!!!!!!!

DaneMcCloud
02-07-2007, 05:02 PM
uh..no, no I didn't.


Put down the pipe son.

Oh, that's right, I'm wrong. You were the guy bitching about paying $27 a ticket for the best seats in the K. FTR, those seats are $175 each at Dodgers Stadium.

Sorry for the mix-up.

CoMoChief
02-07-2007, 05:29 PM
We arent going .500 in the division we play in.

Braincase
02-07-2007, 10:25 PM
Beautiful thing is that everybody starts the season tied.

Royals however will be in last place before the end of April .