As widely expected, the Milwaukee Brewers have traded starting pitcher Zack Greinke. But what was not widely expected was that Greinke would end up with the Los Angeles Angels. The Angels sent Milwaukee three prospects including shortstop Jean Segura.
Going into the 2012 season, the Angels arguably had the best starting rotation in MLB with Jered Weaver, ex-Texas Ranger C.J. Wilson, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana. But it's been a mixed bag. While Weaver (13-1 2.26 ERA) and Wilson (9-6 2.89 ERA)have excelled both Haren (7-8 4.76 ERA) and Santana (4-10 6.00 ERA) have struggled. I wonder if the acquistion of Greinke means Santana will be sent to the bullpen with Garrett Richards remaining at the number five spot in the rotation.
The Angels are five games back of the Rangers in the AL West but only half a game ahead of the upstart Oakland A's who have gone 16-3 in the month of July.
Greinke, of course, got his start with the Kansas City Royals with whom he won the AL Cy Young Award in 2009. He was dealt to the Brewers prior to the 2011 season and reached the post-season with the NL Central Division champions. However, 2012 has been a much different story for the Brewers who are 14 games back of the Cincinnati Reds. Despite the Brewers struggles this season, Greinke has performed effectively going 9-3 with a respectable 3.44 ERA in 21 starts.
The 28-year old righty is known for having social anxiety disorder and this affected him adversely early in his big league career. Although he has got through the worst of it, Greinke is not known for liking the spotlight. Los Angeles certainly has a bigger spotlight than Atlanta or Phoenix. But the LA media is more apt to focus on rookie sensation Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo and Albert Pujols. As far as pitchers go, C.J. Wilson has plenty to say and could by himself remove whatever pressure Greinke might be under the brighter lights of LA.
Greinke should be a good fit with the Angels although he will become a free agent at the end of the season.
UPDATE: Greinke made his Angels debut against the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday afternoon. He gave up only two runs in seven innings pitched striking out eight. But the Angels offense gave Greinke no support and the Rays prevailed 2-0.
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