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Monday, December 20, 2010

Zach Greinke

Roberto Ruiz-Maki

I have to admit that even I did not see this coming.  Zach Greinke has been acquired by the Milwaukee Brewers, along with Yuniesky Betancourt, to fill out the rotation.  Greinke, 2009 AL Cy Young winner, was the best pitcher on the market and the Brewers did not get him for cheap.  Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, Jake Odorizzi, and Jeremy Jeffress, are no longer a part of the organization.
Though I feel as though I should be jumping for joy, a part of me wonders whether or not this truly makes the Brewers a better team.  Greinke had a down year last year, posting a 4.18 ERA, and hasn’t had a dominationg season other than 2009.  We gave up our shortstop of the future in Escobar, and in return got Betancourt, a player that has underachieved his entire career.  We also gave up Cain, a centerfield prospect who had a serious chance at winning the job from Carlos Gomez this year.  Jay Pucek, a Brewers fan, says: “Cain showed tremendous skills on the base-paths, and range in the field.  The question was whether his bat could stand up to major league pitching.”  While his bat was a question mark, he showed promise at one of the premier positions in baseball.  Jeffress and Odorizzi both were young pitchers who had not yet shown what they were capable of in the majors.  Odorizzi was a class A player, while Jeffress had a chance of making the big league squad.
Greinke has the potential to be one of the best pitchers in the major leagues, but he also has a question mark when it comes to mental health.  He battled an anxiety disorder for most of the 2006 season, and he even admits that he struggles with depression.  Even with the question marks, he will be a solid number-one starter, something that the Brewers were lacking.
It is clear that Doug Melvin is trying to save his job.  Brewers fans have not been shy about voicing their displeasure with him and his recent acquisitions (I am no different).  It seems to me that the Brewers brass came up to him this offseason and told him that his job was on the line.  Why else would he risk the Brewers farm system all in one offseason?  Melvin is pushing all of his chips to the center, and he is praying for a good result.
Brewers fans everywhere will be praying right along with him.

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