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2011 Stats: 16-6, 3.83 ERA, 171.2 IP, 201 K, 1.20 WHIP
Projected 2012 Stats: 18-10, 3.45 ERA, 215 IP, 225 K, 1.25 WHIP
What He Did in 2011
The Brewers acquired Zack Greinke in a blockbuster trade that sent a slew of Milwaukee's best prospects to Kansas City in exchange for the former Cy Young winner and shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt.
Zack Greinke's regular season debut got off to a rocky start after being delayed for a month due to a broken rib suffered during a pick-up basketball game.
He came out of the gates extremely slowly, posting a 5.29 ERA in May and an alarmingly high 6.04 ERA in June.
Despite this, he was better than his early ERA indicated. During that stretch he went 7-3, and had 80 strikeouts in 66 innings.
After May and June, Greinke returned to form and put together a very good year with the Brewers that proved he was worth the talent that had been sent to Kansas City.
He posted a ridiculous 10.54 K/9, and he and Gallardo became the first Brewers starting duo to strike out 200+ batters in the same season.
Greinke did not post the insane numbers of his 2009 Cy Young campaign (2.16 ERA, 229.1 IP, 242 K), but he did prove he has what it takes to bounce back from injury and be a very good starter.
And he never lost at home.
What He Will Do in 2012
Greinke has lost some velocity on all his pitches, but he still sits well with a 93-mph fastball, a nasty slider, and two good curveballs. His drop in velocity is not alarming, as he has outstanding control.
I don't know if Greinke will post the same types of numbers he did in 2009 (heck, I'm not sure anyone will), but it is fair to assume he will still be very good.
As long as he stays away from basketball this offseason and avoids injury altogether, Greinke's first full, injury-free season as a Brewer could be very exciting to watch. It will be interesting to see the dynamic between Gallardo and Greinke moving forward, and I believe the fact that these two guys are potentially elite pitchers will help push both of them to new heights.
Greinke never had that in Kansas City, and Gallardo never had it in Milwaukee before Greinke arrived.
He might not post Cy Young numbers, but again, the stat line above is somewhat conservative. I expect his stats to improve in 2012, and I predict he and Gallardo will account for one of the best one-two punches in baseball.