New week, same Diamondbacks.
Arizona traveled to Milwaukee and thumped the Brewers last night by a score of 9-1. Merrill Kelly pitched an absolute gem (shocker) going 7 innings and allowing a single run. The best part of the game however was our old buddy Alek Thomas homering in his return back to the bigs.
The D-backs scored 6 in the first inning last night and never looked back. Another fun victory for this red-hot ball club that sits atop the NL West with a 44-29 record (Impressively, Arizona has a 66% winning percentage on the road this season)!
Looking in the rearview mirror, the surging Giants are 3.5 games back and the struggling Dodgers are 4.5 games back.
This ball club is fun, this ball club is exciting, and this ball club is as impressive as it gets. But there is one glaring weakness that cannot be ignored… the starting rotation.
I know it sucks to mention when the vibes are immaculate as they are right now. But if this team plans on playing more than 162 games this season, changes need to be made.
I have a solution, shall we proceed?
The Diamondbacks should pursue Royals SP Zack Greinke
Outside of the dynamic duo of Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly Arizona’s starting rotation has been horrendous. How bad exactly? Well in 207 innings pitched, 201 earned runs have been given up. That is an ERA of 8.74. Almost a run per inning; Wow!
Taking those numbers into consideration, it is unreal that the Diamondbacks have won 44 games. The offense must feel burnt out; I think all of the position players deserve a massage appointment on their next off day…
It is evident that the rotation needs help. Unfortunately for Torey Lovullo, there aren’t any qualified minor-league arms for his starting 5 at the moment. Thus, Arizona will have to look outside of its organization for the answer.
One call Mike Hazen should make is to Kansas City’s General Manager J.J. Picollo. The topic of conversation? Veteran starter Zack Greinke.
A Greinke-Diamondbacks reunion might be best for both sides as the two ball clubs are trending in opposite directions. The Diamondbacks are on the rise and are in need of players with experience, whereas the Royals just need to add more talent to their farm system for the future.
Zack pitched for the Diamondbacks from 2016-2019. In those 3 seasons, he went 55-29 with an impressive 3.39 ERA.
On July 31, 2019, the Diamondbacks traded Greinke to the Houston Astros with cash considerations in exchange for four minor league prospects: Corbin Martin, J. B. Bukauskas, Seth Beer, and Josh Rojas.
Obviously, the 39-year-old veteran is not the pitcher he was several seasons ago, but adding an arm like his to the rotation would bolster this team more than it would appear on the surface.
So far in 2023, Greinke has a 4.81 ERA in 15 starts. I realize that an ERA close to 5 isn’t ideal, but it would be an instant upgrade compared to the other 3 who fill in the rotation right now. Also with Zack, you have to look at the numbers a little more closely.
Greinke is 17th among all AL starters in WHIP and he is 2nd in walks per 9 innings. Plain and simple, Greinke throws strikes and he keeps his defense busy behind him.
After getting off to a horrid start this season, Greinke settled down and went 1-1 with a 2.30 ERA in 6 May starts. In those 6 starts, he also posted a .204 batting average against and a 0.83 WHIP. It’s no secret, Greinke can still bring it at a high level.
Here is another benefit of trading for a guy like Greinke; he would come at a cheap price. In other words, if Arizona traded for him, they would not have to give up much at all because of his age (39).
All it would take to acquire him is maybe a top 50 prospect and some cash. Now who knows, maybe that prospect would turn into an everyday stud for the Royals. But the value you get with an experienced guy like Greinke is definitely worth the risk.
Not only would Grienke be a reliable arm in the starting 5; he has many feathers in his cap when it comes to the postseason. This is a must-need for this young and talented Diamondbacks team.
In his career, Greinke has pitched 113 playoff innings. In that time he is 4-6 with a 4.14 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. Maybe my want for Greinke seems unreasonable, but I truly believe adding him makes this team 10 times better.
Quality arm, cheap price, post-season extraordinaire. Maybe I will be a GM one day…