Monday, December 20, 2010

How does Greinke Trade Affect the NL Central?

So it's been a few days since I last posted.  Instead of writing about baseball for the past few days, I've been stuck writing papers for finals.  Now I can finally talk about the move that changed the dynamics in the National League Central: the Brewers trade for Zack Greinke.  In order to get the former Royals ace, the Brewers sent shortstop Alcides Escobar, outfielder Lorenzo Cain and pitching prospects Jake Odorizzi and Jeremy Jeffress to Kansas City (the Brewers also received Yuniesky Betancourt and cash considerations).  Earlier in the offseason the Brewers sent prized infield prospect Brett Lawrie to the Blue Jays in order to acquire starting pitcher Shaun Marcum.

With the newly acquired Greinke and Marcum, the Brewers rotation should be much improved from last year.  Greinke, the 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner, went 10-14 with a 4.17 ERA last season for the Royals, while recording 181 strikeouts and only 55 walks.  His season didn't come anywhere close to his 2009 season, where he went 16-8 with a 2.16 ERA, but if you continually played (and lost) for the Kansas City Royals, you probably wouldn't be able to sustain ridiculous numbers either.  Last year for the Blue Jays, Marcum went 13-8 with a 3.64 ERA, 165 strikeouts and only 43 walks.  Those numbers should improve with the move from the AL East to the NL Central.  Along with 2010 Brewers ace Yovani Gallardo, who went 14-7 with a 3.84 ERA last season, Milwaukee now boasts a formidable rotation that makes them instantly competitive in the weak NL Central.  Along with a lineup that includes Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, Corey Hart and Rickie Weeks, the Brewers have set themselves up to win next season.

Even with the improved talent, the Brewers still shouldn't be considered the favorites to win the NL Central.  The Cardinals should be favored, with their rotation of Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, Jaime Garcia, and Kyle Lohse (if he's healthy), and a lineup which includes Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday.  I wouldn't expect the Reds to be able to capture the same success that they did last season, when they led the National League in hitting and won the division.

1 comment:

  1. I don't think you should disregard the Reds. I don't think they should be favored, but they still have a shot