After three months of roaming through the wilderness, Vintage Zack Greinke might be returning to the mound. Plus, as with a few other Royals-related moves (benching Super Joe, dropping Angel), the informed-outsider position advocated throughout the Royals blogosphere seems vindicated tonight, as the AP story took the "Greinke needed rest" angle and ran with it.
``I sat by the couch or by the pool for three straight days and that probably freshened me up,'' he said. ``I think it helped a little bit.''
As you might recall, here at Royals Review we spent the better part of July asking for Greinke to be given some combination of a)rest b) starts in Omaha in order for him to get back on track. Not surprisingly, the Royals have given no hint that a semi-rehab start in the minors was ever an option, considering the franchise seems to view its own minor league instruction as more or less non-existent. Still, it was good to see the kid have a nice game, even though he's already going to have an awesome life, make lots of money, date a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader (already happening) and probably spend the majority of his adult life outside... you could tell the constant losing had to be a drag.
Even more remarkably, Bell resisted the temptation to have him throw 150 pitches tonight (only 101), as the organizational edict that Greinke's pitch count be watched was once again followed. Its almost as if Allard actually reminds the manager before each Greinke start that he needs to be cautious; and no, I'm not complaining. One minor note though: does anyone else think that Zack was possibly just a little hit-lucky tonight?? Anyone? I'm just saying...
Beyond Greinke lowering his ERA to 5.66, fan-favorites Emil Brown and David DeJesus produced nice games, with a homer and two doubles respectively. And hey, Cleveland lost and the Royals won, if that happens again, every night for the next two weeks, we pass them in the standings.
Lastly, let us say farewell to Tony Graffanino, traded today to Boston for minor league pitcher Juan Cedeno and outfielder Chip Ambres. Its hardly a blockbuster deal, but considering the stakes, if either player ever contributes to one Royals win the deal's a win for Allard, and even if Juan or Chip never even put on a Royals uniform, it was still worth it. Tony G's a nice player, and by all accounts a swell guy, but the Royals could win out to close the season and it may not be enough to catch the White Sox, so if someone wants to send us some C-level prospects and cash for Tony, then you make that deal.
Nevertheless, goodbye Tony Graffanino, we hardly knew ye:
2004: 75 Games, .263/.332/.335 line, 3 HRs, 10/12 stolen bases
2005: 59 Games, .298/.377/.393 line, 3 HRs, 3/4 stolen bases
We'll always share memories of your .377 OBP in '05 Graffy, in fact, I plan to tell my grandchildren about it. Good luck in Boston, and I hope that the increased Super Joe McEwing that your departure brings doesn't sour those memories of you.
Fare thee well.