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#pounditSaturday, December 5, 2020

Articles tagged: Zack Greinke

Zack Greinke pokes fun at himself for getting picked off first base

Zack Greinke

Zack Greinke didn’t exactly have his finest moment on the baseball diamond Tuesday, and he knows it.

The Houston Astros righty, who got a chance to play offense in an interleague game against the Milwaukee Brewers, reached first base on a single in the fifth inning, only to promptly get picked off by Milwaukee pitcher Jordan Lyles. After the game, Greinke discussed the play in tongue-in-cheek fashion.

“I was trying to steal,” said the former Cy Young winner, per Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle. “Got nine career steals, trying to get 10. Don’t know if I’ll ever get there now. That was probably my last chance.

The 35-year-old Greinke also took the loss on Tuesday (his first as an Astro) to add insult to injury. Additionally, he had never been caught stealing before, thus lowering his career success rate on stolen bases from 100 to 90 percent.

If anything though, Greinke can take solace in the fact that his blunder on the basepaths wasn’t quite as bad as that of this fellow AL West player.

Watch: Zack Greinke had great reaction to Carlos Correa’s cannon throw

Zack Greinke

Zack Greinke is only in his third week as a member of the Houston Astros, so some things about the team are still surprising him.

The six-time All-Star started on Sunday against the Oakland Athletics and covered first base in the seventh inning to record the putout on a 3-6-1 double play. The return throw from shortstop Carlos Correa came in hot, appearing to catch Greinke off-guard and leading to this great reaction from him.

Greinke would go on to earn the win, as the Astros came out on top by the final of 4-1. Correa helped his cause too with two walks and a run scored.

The 24-year-old Correa was a pitcher for a time in his youth, so that may help explain the rocket arm. As for Greinke, he called his Astros debut “boring” a couple weeks ago, but Correa ensured that wasn’t the case again on Sunday.

Zack Greinke explains why Astros debut was ‘boring’

Zack Greinke

Zack Greinke is one of the most brutally honest athletes out there, so it’s not surprising that he didn’t hold back when it came to discussing his Houston Astros debut.

Greinke allowed five runs in six innings in an 11-6 Houston win. The Astros collected 13 hits and four home runs, so Greinke was well-supported offensively. One might think he’d appreciate that, but he was pretty clear about the downside.

“Yeah, it’s kind of boring,” Greinke said of waiting in the dugout while the Astros hit, via Matt Kelly of MLB.com. “And just trying to stay loose, staying focused [when] not having anything to do.”

This was probably doubly tough on Greinke, who loves hitting more than most pitchers and probably misses it playing in the American League. He also won’t bother hiding if he’s bored — after all, this is a guy who will tell his teammates anything. Perhaps a pitcher’s duel will be more to his liking.

Diamondbacks’ Jake Lamb shares hilarious Zack Greinke story

Zack Greinke

Zack Greinke has a reputation throughout baseball as being a brutally honest teammate, and the Arizona Diamondbacks he played with would be happy to confirm that.

In a piece by Zach Buchanan of The Athletic, Greinke’s former Arizona teammates reminisced about their time together with the team. His ex-teammates admitted how much they loved and missed him after his trade to the Houston Astros despite how brutally honest he could be.

Perhaps the best story came from ex-teammate Jake Lamb, who once dared to ask Greinke if he had a favorite strikeout, only for Greinke to go back two years in his mind for a very specific moment.

Beyond how funny it is, you have to have pretty good recall to remember a strikeout that specific that quickly.

Another of Greinke’s former teams would be happy to tell you that the pitcher just brings up what’s on his mind no matter how awkward it might be for others. The Houston Astros will be the latest recipients of both his pitching talent and his unique brand of camaraderie.

Look: Zack Greinke, Justin Verlander already sharing pitching tips

Zack Greinke

The Houston Astros helped Justin Verlander reach another level in his pitching. Their work with him and others has led to a belief that Zack Greinke will also flourish with his new team. In fact, it seems Verlander and Greinke have already gotten started on helping each other.

This video shared on Twitter Saturday shows the two Cy Young Award winners talking pitching together. They seem to be sharing different grips and showing the effects they have on the ball:

John Smoltz’s comment about the Astros’ rotation may be an exaggeration, but working in such an advanced environment should help bring out the best in Greinke. We’ve already seen what putting on an Astros jersey did for their other trade deadline acquisitions. Greinke may follow with impressive pitching of his own.

Justin Verlander seems pumped about Zack Greinke trade

Justin Verlander

Two years ago the Houston Astros made a big trade to get Justin Verlander just before the waiver deadline and he helped them win the World Series. This year, the Astros acquired Zack Greinke in a huge deadline deal that they hope will pay off in the same way. Verlander seems pumped about it.

Verlander sent a tweet on Wednesday in response to the Greinke trade, saying “that escalated quickly!” with a few flame emojis.

In addition to Greinke, who is 10-4 with a 2.87 ERA this season, the Astros acquired pitchers Joe Biagnini and Aaron Sanchez from the Blue Jays just before the deadline. Earlier in the day they re-acquired catcher Martin Maldonado, which allowed them to trade away Max Stassi.

The Yankees, Red Sox, Rays, Indians and Twins are among the teams heavily involved in the AL playoff race, but the Astros’ chances of reaching the World Series just received a big boost in the form of Greinke.

Astros acquire Zack Greinke, Aaron Sanchez at trade deadline

Zack Greinke

The Houston Astros swung for the fences at the trade deadline and hit a home run.

The Astros acquired Zack Greinke in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Arizona is giving up four prospects in return, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. He says Corbin Martin, JB Bukauskas, Seth Beer and Josh Rojas are included in the deal. Beer, Bukauskas and Martin are Houston’s Nos. 3, 4 and 5 prospects according to MLB.com’s rankings.

The Diamondbacks had been looking to move Greinke, who is signed through 2021. Arizona is paying $24 million and Houston assumed $53 million owed to Greinke as part of the deal, according to Ken Rosethal. If the Diamondbacks are indeed paying a good portion of the money he is owed, this deal could be similar to the trade the Astros made to acquire Justin Verlander in 2017 when Detroit paid $16 million of the money he was owed.

Not only would Houston have Greinke for the remainder of this season, but they will have him for another two seasons to help their rotation. This could be a backup plan in case they are unable to re-sign impending free agent Gerrit Cole.

The Astros also acquired Aaron Sanchez in a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays prior to the deadline. Sanchez has a 6.07 ERA this season, but some teams may have been encouraged by his recent 10-strikeout outing.

Report: Diamondbacks are sellers, willing to trade Zack Greinke

Zack Greinke

The Arizona Diamondbacks are reportedly entering sell mode, and that means a veteran pitcher is on the market.

According to Jon Morosi of MLB.com, the Diamondbacks have firmly emerged as sellers, and have made virtually every veteran on their roster available. That includes pitcher Zack Greinke, who is signed through 2021 with a hefty contract worth $112.5 million in salary and deferred payments for its final two seasons.

A Greinke trade has its obstacles. There is the aforementioned contract, as well as the fact that he has a limited no-trade clause. Morosi notes that teams lacking in the prospects to get other starters but willing to take on the contract, such as the Houston Astros or Philadelphia Phillies, could be good fits.

The Diamondbacks may also be willing to take on some of the money to get better prospects. With another veteran starter looking less available than ever, Greinke could be an interesting alternative for several teams.

Report: D-Backs willing to eat significant portion of Zack Greinke’s salary in trade

Zack Greinke

Zack Greinke is having another terrific season and would be a nice addition for a contending team in need of starting rotation help, but his salary makes him a bit less appealing. If any team is interested in acquiring the right-hander, the Arizona Diamondbacks are willing to help remedy that issue.

Greinke, who will turn 36 in October, is still owed $80 million over the next two-plus seasons. Jon Heyman of Fancred said Friday that the D-Backs could be willing to eat as much as $10 million a year to move Greinke, but he can block a trade to 15 teams and may want to remain in Arizona.

If Greinke doesn’t want to be traded, he probably won’t be. No-trade lists typically include contending teams, so we can assume several of the clubs that might be interested in him are on that list.

Greinke is set to make $32 million in each of the next two seasons. Despite his age, he has an impressive 10-4 record and 2.95 ERA this season. He has also been incredibly durable, making 30 or more starts in four of the past five seasons.

The Diamondbacks traded Paul Goldschmidt over the winter but committed to not blowing up their roster, and they actually remain in the playoff hunt. They’re only 1.5 games back in the NL wild card race, but they would almost certainly take advantage of an opportunity to move Greinke if the right offer came along.

10 MLB players on track to reach the Hall of Fame

Clayton Kershaw

Though their careers aren’t yet over, there are a number of MLB players who have likely already done enough to punch their ticket to the Hall of Fame after they quit playing. There are other young players who have started promisingly, but a handful of veterans have really stood out and put together resumes that will be hard to deny when their names come up on the Hall of Fame ballot after their retirement. Some are still producing at a high level, while some are not, but all of them should be treasured as long as they are still entertaining us with their talents.

Here are ten active MLB players who warrant strong Hall of Fame consideration — if they haven’t all but clinched it already.

10. CC Sabathia, SP, Yankees

Sabathia has a clear Hall of Fame case, but it’s a somewhat murky one. His peak was certainly good enough, but his 3.69 career ERA is somewhat high for a Hall of Famer. And, despite some memorable postseason exploits, he doesn’t have the playoff resume to stand out, either, and only won the Cy Young once. Still, it’s easy to see how Sabathia gets in. His longevity and consistency ensure he should get to 250 wins, and he’s already surpassed 3,000 strikeouts. Plus, his history of clutch pitching — including his stretch run with Milwaukee — could play on voters’ minds.

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