Zack Greinke: All Star Profile

PHOENIX–Zack Greinke was selected to his fourth All-Star game coming as no surprise. A year ago today, all the talk was how Greinke was finished. Everyone said how he’d never flourish in Arizona. Boy were they wrong. Check this out.

Much like Robbie Ray, although much less surprising, every single one of Greinke’s pitches has lost velocity from last season. How has Greinke turned it out? Look to his slider and his curve. Batters are swinging and missing at both of those pitches much more often than they were last season. Why? It’s the same pitch, right? Yup. It lost velocity, right? Yup. How is this possible?

Last year, when Greinke wouldn’t locate, and he’d throw pitches outside the zone, he’d miss badly. Meaning, he’d miss closer to the zone, somewhere the batter could still hit it. But now, when he throws his slider, he’s missing where the batters can’t whack it, but they’re still swinging because it’s such a filthy pitch. Same goes for his curve but to a slightly lesser extent. The point is, batters aren’t making contact on Greinke’s pitches nearly as much as they were last season because he’s locating better.

Greinke is third among NL pitchers in WHIP and tied for second in wins. Batters hit .222 against his curve last season, compared to .161 this year.

It remains to be seen how much longer Greinke can keep this going, seeing his decline in velo across all of his pitches, but, for now, he’s not going anywhere.

 

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