Zack Greinke and the media do not mix. He speaks his mind and often stays away from canned responses. He would rather do anything than answer questions after a game. After playing in the small markets of Kanas City and Milwaukee for the early portion of his career, it appeared that Greinke would be better suited to remain in a small town forever.
But money talks. When the Los Angeles Dodgers offered a lucrative contract during free-agency after the 2012 season, Greinke signed on with one of baseball’s biggest markets. He even showed his honesty after signing by staying away from the canned answer of his love for an organization, but instead saying that Dodgers offered the most money so he signed with them.
Many feared that after signing this contract, Greinke would get worn down by the constant media sharks, and struggle both on and off the field. While he has not been free from putting his foot in his mouth, like his comments about the team’s early visit to Australia this past season, he has been a rock in the rotation.
Throughout his career, Greinke has posted a steady 3.60 ERA, but in his 42 career starts with the Dodgers he has been even better. As a Dodger, he is 23-7 with a staggering 2.62 ERA. His walk rate has been incredible and he has kept hitters off base by having the lowest WHIP of his entire career.
Last season, although he missed over a month due to a broken collarbone that he got in a fight with Padre, Carlos Quentin, Greinke went on to a 15-4 record, finishing fourth in the league in ERA. These great numbers allowed him to receive consideration in the CY Young voting. He was also a force at the plate. Always a fan of hitting, he batted a career high .328 on his way to his first career Silver Slugger Award.
This year, Greinke has been the most consistent arm in the rotation. He has not only made all of his starts, but he has excelled. He is among league leaders in wins, ERA, and pitching WAR. There has even been talk about him being the all-star game starter.
Once viewed as a small town pitcher, Greike has proven to be a big city pitcher, too. There were many doubts when he signed his mega-deal with the Dodgers about whether he could hold up under the pressure of a giant market. Instead of crumbling under the pressure, Greinke has shined. While he was great in small cities, he has become a giant in Los Angeles.
Statistics Provided by Baseball Reference