By now you’ve heard the secret about Zack Greinke: he is an awful post player. His fractured rib is disconcerting for more then one reason, as Lou pointed out yesterday. Myself, I am more confused than upset by the situation. It is part of our job descriptions to make a big deal out of these sorts of things, but part of me just can’t push it into the red for what Greinke did.
What concerns me now is what happens to the Brewers rotation with Greinke rehabbing those ribs?
First off, this isn’t exactly the shock of the season. I, along with everyone who was following the Zack Attack to Milwaukee, knew he had hurt his ribs in a previously undisclosed ‘dumb accident’. He told the brewers about it right away, and began to prepare for the season. He came out, made a few struggling starts and finally called it quits for the start of the season. Am I upset? Absolutely. The guy is a premiere athlete and he probably should know better. But also, he is still relatively young and has the right to go out and hang with his friends.
Anyone who has seen him pitch knows he takes this game seriously. Obviously he takes it more seriously than basketball, otherwise he would have gotten that rebound. Bottom line, there are a lot worse things he could’ve done. If he’s going to do something dumb, I’d rather have it be a pickup game. I’d also rather he sit out in March than June.
Surprisingly, Doug Melvin and Ron Roenicke don’t seem that concerned. They both told the Brewers website yesterday that a four man rotation is more than reasonable for all but three dates in April. Zack is slated tentatively to return at the end of that month. Ron has not named an opening day starter yet, and that doesn’t surprise me, either. It’s still early and there is plenty of work to be done before opening day hits us in the next few weeks.
As for my pick about that new opening day starter? Smart money is on Yovanni Gallardo. He had the spot last year, and certainly earned the right after posting some great numbers last season with 14 wins and fanning 200 batters. As far as I’m concerned, Yo is still the ace here until some one takes the spot from him.
What has me more worried is the number five guy. Usually not a big concern, I’ll admit, but our ranks are thin enough as it is, and now we need to dig a sub out of the bullpen. Look to Manny Parra to make his (questionably) triumphant return to the rotation here. Right now Parra is working on his back (and hopefully his pitch command) so there are a few other players in the mix. Namely 2009 minor League Pitcher of the Year Amaury Rivas and Willy Peralta. I’m sure some long relief is going to be needed in those situations, but it’s not exactly a race for the pennant in mid-April.
When you break it down, this situation is not as bad as it could be. Milwaukee is used to injuries – they are a fact of the game. The team has some semblance of a plan, and I think we have bolstered ourselves to weather these kinds of storms. The fact that Greinke hurt himself playing basketball in the off-season is concerning, but I’m not sure I’m willing to get riled up about it. The Brewers sure aren’t.