Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday Studmuffins: Kansas City Royals Pitcher Zack Greinke

I suppose it's only fitting that, on a Saturday after we don't deliver this feature, a candidate presents himself for having done something spectacular both last Saturday, and last night. And that individual is none other than number 23 on the Kansas City Royals, the number-two man in the 'tation, the boyfriend of a girl with a special mouth, Zack Greinke.

First things first: This is, of course, the sure-fire way to jinx Greinke's early-season success, but I challenge the jinx Gods, nonetheless.

Greinke was a first-round selection (sixth pick overall) in the 2003 Major League Baseball draft. He debuted with the Royals in May 2004. His numbers, through the years, since then:

2004: 8-11, 3.97 E.R.A. through 145 innings pitched, generating 100 Ks to 26 BBs

2005: 5-17, 5.80 E.R.A. through 183 innings pitched, generating 114 Ks to 53 BBs

2006: 1-0, 4.26 E.R.A. through 6.1 innings pitched, generating 5 Ks to 3 BBs*

2007: 7-7, 3.69 E.R.A. through 122 innings pitched, generating 106 Ks to 36 BBs

2008: 13-10, 3.47 E.R.A. through 202 innings pitched, generating 183 Ks to 56 BBs

2009: 4-0, 0.00 E.R.A. through 29 innings pitched, generating 36 Ks to 6 BBs**

* Greinke, after one start, was put on the 60-day DL, and left the club to get a handle on his mental health, a period during which/leading up to, Greinke said he was more interested in hitting (Editor's Note: He currently has a slugging percentage of .583 with a homer and a double in 12 at bats.), but also wanted to leave baseball for good.

** to date, through the first 16 games of the season

There's another side to Greinke, though, and that's his 115 percent awesomeness at interviews. Last Saturday, after his complete-game shutout versus Texas, he handed Royals catcher Miguel Olivo all of the credit. Last night, after his complete-game semi-shutout (Note: On a Detroit base hit, Royals centerfielder Coco Crisp threw the ball to shortstop Mike Aviles, who threw, a bit low, to third, and the ball bounced off of the baserunner's foot, allowing said runner to score, which ended Greinke's scoreless-inning streak -- dating back to last year -- at 38 innings.), he again rained praise on Olivo, as well as Royals Pitching Coach Bob "Mac" McClure. There are, however, some instant-classic interview tidbits of a younger, spring-training Greinke, that you should totally dig on:

Old-School Stank I

Old-School Stank II

That's this week's SS. It should be noted that credit for both interviews go to D.A., who is the most fantastic sports-talk-radio host on the planet, especially when he doesn't sue us.