Zack Greinke, Starting Pitcher, Arizona Diamondbacks, #21
Date of Birth: 10/21/1983
Birthplace: Orlando, Florida
Zack Greinke, starting pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks, did not start pitching until his later high school years. In his senior year in high school, he had a 9-2 record, 0.55 ERA, and 118 strikeouts in 63 innings pitched.
Greinke signed with the Kansas City Royals in 2002. He spent his first two seasons in the minor leagues, coming up to the majors in 2004 to play in 24 games with the Royals. In those 24 games, Greinke pitched 145.0 innings and had an 8-11 record with a 3.97 ERA and 100 strikeouts to 26 walks.
Greinke missed all but three games in the 2006 season due to anxiety and emotional issues. When he returned to the Royals in 2007, they used him from the bullpen as a relief pitcher. The following season, he returned to the starting rotation.
In January, 2009, the Royals agreed to a four-year, $38 million contract with Greinke and he repaid them with a strong 2009 season. In 33 games, he pitched 229.1 innings and had a 16-8 record, 2.16 ERA, and 242 strikeouts to 51 walks. He had the lowest ERA in major league baseball that season and he was awarded the Cy Young award after the season ended.
In December, 2010, Greinke asked the Royals to trade him and they agreed by trading him to the Milwaukee Brewers. Greinke started the 2011 season on the disabled list, playing in 28 games with the Brewers that season. In July of 2012, the Brewers traded him to the Los Angeles Angels. The following December Greinke agreed to a six-year, $147 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In 2013, Greinke had surgery in April for a fractured collarbone. He finished the season with a 2.63 ERA and 15-4 win-loss record in 28 games. In 2014, he had a 17-8 record, 207 strikeouts to 43 walks, and a 2.71 ERA in 202.1 innings in 32 games. He pitched 7.0 innings in one game in the postseason and he gave up just 2 hits and no runs.
Greinke's batting skills were excellent in 2013 and he won a Silver Slugger award for batting .328. In 2014, he excelled defensively, winning his first Gold Glove award. In 32 games, he made 30 assists, 28 putouts, and one error and he had a .983 fielding percentage.
Greinke had a strong 2015 season, finishing with a career low ERA of 1.66, a career high 19 wins (to 3 losses), and 200 strikeouts to 40 walks in 222.2 innings in 32 games. His 1.66 ERA is the second lowest in Dodgers' history. Only Rube Marquard had a lower ERA in 1916. In the postseason, he pitched 13.2 innings in 2 games and he gave up 11 hits, including 3 home runs, and 5 runs. He had a 3.29 ERA and 17 strikeouts to just one walk.
Greinke won his second consecutive Gold Glove in 2015. In 32 games, he made 41 assists, 19 putouts, and 2 errors.
On November 4, 2015, Greinke opted out of the last three years of his six-year, $147 million contract with the Dodgers. He signed a six-year, $206.5 million contract with the Diamondbacks on December 4, 2015.
Greinke had a somewhat disappointing first year with the Diamondbacks in 2016. He spent time on the DL and pitched just 158.2 innings in 26 games. He finished with a 4.37 ERA, 13 wins to 7 losses, and 134 strikeouts to 41 walks.
Greinke won his third Gold Glove in 2016.
In 2017, Greinke had a 3.20 ERA in 32 games with the Diamondbacks. He had 17 wins and 7 losses and 215 strikeouts to 45 walks in 202.1 innings. He pitched in two postseason games and had an ERA of 1.85 in 8.2 innings. He gave up 10 hits, including 2 home runs, and 7 runs. He struck out just 5 batters while walking 6.
Greinke continued to excel defensively in 2017, winning his fourth Gold Glove award.
Statistics for Greinke in fourteen seasons (2004-2017) in the major leagues include:
- 7 seasons with over 200 innings pitched, with a high of 229.1 in 2009
- 8 seasons with over 150 strikeouts, with 6 of those seasons with 200 or more strikeouts, with a high of 242 in 2009
- 4 seasons with an ERA under 3.00, with a low of 1.66 in 2015
Career pitching statistics for Greinke through 2017 include:
- 422 games played
- 2,455.2 innings pitched
- 172-107 win-loss record
- 2,236 strikeouts to 594 walks
- 3.40 ERA