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Monday March 15, 2010 11:43 pm

What’s next for Greinke?

Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, MLB,

Zack GreinkeHow much can you do when you’ve already done it all? Lots, if you’re Zack Greinke. As everybody saw, the starting pitcher lit up the opposition and won the 2009 AL Cy Young Award with the Kansas City Royals, putting everybody else on notice that he’s officially arrived and ready to throw. And at just 26 years old, there’s still plenty of throwing left in the right arm of the Royals’ ace.

The newly married ace has a new set of challenges ahead of him this year; ones that befit a Cy Young Award winner. Instead of challenging for a spot in the rotation and being consistent, he is now setting the pace for those behind him to follow and learning how to be a consistently dominating ace of the rotation, and so far this spring he’s delivered on all fronts. He is now preparing to make the first Opening Day start of his career.

Some people think that once you’re on top, there’s nowhere to go but down. In Greinke’s case, that couldn’t be further from the truth. There’s always room for improvement. Not only is another Cy Young win on the list of goals, but doing so as a 20-game winner would be nice. Greinke managed to claim 16 games last season with his struggling Royals behind him. While it’s silly to expect a similar run of scoreless innings like he put up to start 2009, lowering his walk count is a realistic goal for him as well.

Greinke’s six seasons in the majors see him with a 50-53 career win-loss record; not very typical of a Cy Young Award winner. But he’s a clear example of what can be accomplished with patience, experience and hard work. He’s emerging as one of those diamonds-in-the-rough, and Kansas City has him locked up for years to come. But if he continues to tear up hitters, he may become another one of those diamonds-in-the-rough-who-want-to-play-for-a-winner, and if the Royals can’t turn their franchise around soon, it may only be a matter of time before Greinke walks.



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