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The Greinke-Olivo Saga Continues - When a pitcher has a bad outing, you shrug it off. Get lit up by the Colorado Rockies, and you definitely let it go. Even for a Cy Young Award winner, a bad outing is part of the game.
But when a dominant pitcher gets tagged for eight runs in less than four innings against the team his old catcher plays for, you know what’s going on.
Updating a story we've been following all year, Colorado Rockies catcher Miguel Olivo had the day off on Sunday as the Rockies faced the Kansas City Royals, his old team, and reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke. But Olivo probably didn’t sit this game out; Olivo almost certainly played the role of "special assistant to the Manager" for this one, sitting right next to Rockies manager Jim Tracy and giving him everything he knows about his former teammate.
Olivo Five, Kansas City Zero. The on-going Miguel Olivo/Zack Greinke/Ubaldo Jimenez sage took centerstage last night as all three players were in action for the Rockies and Royals. In Colorado, the Rockies scored 11 runs in the first three innings in a laugher against the Arizona Diamondbacks, but the Rockies were laughing more because of their pitching than their hitting. Jimenez threw 95 pitches over six scoreless innings, allowing two hits and two walks while striking out six. Jimenez also ran his consecutive scoreless innings streak to 22.1 innings.
In addition to attending to his catcher duties, Olivo also went 1-for-2 with two RBI and a walk, and is now hitting .319.
Meanwhile, Zack Greinke enjoyed his best outing of the season, throwing seven shutout innings, allowing six hits, walking none, and striking out five. Unfortunately, it took Greinke 119 pitches to get through the five innings, and his reliever Josh Rupe promptly gave up three runs in the eighth inning as the Royals fell to the Mariners, 3-2.
It looks as though it will be Miguel Olivo, and not Zack Greinke, who will be winning consecutive Cy Young Awards this season.
The Zack Greinke/Miguel Olivo Divorce is something we are going to be watching all season. Last season, when Greinke won his Cy Young Award and dominated the American League on an abysmal Kansas City Royals team, Olivo was his primary catcher (I am not sure anyone else caught any of his games). What’s more, Olivo became one of the incredibly small number of recent Royals to hit 20 homeruns in a season in the last ten years, with 23 in 114 games. Yet, somehow the Royals didn’t bring him back for 2010.
Through the first three series of the 2010 season, Zack Greinke is now 0-1 with six earned runs allowed in 12.2 innings (3.55 ERA). His strikeout to walk ratio is astounding – 9:1 – but he has also allowed 14 hits and two homeruns. Meanwhile, Olivo has played in just five games (ironically, his strikeout to walk ratio is also 9:1), but he has thrown out four of five would-be basestealers and the Rockies have allowed 13 earned runs in 45 innings (2.60 ERA) that he has caught. Oh, and four of his five games have been in Coors Field.
4/2/10: Bet Against Betancourt - Just how bad is Yuniesky Betancourt? Lasy year, Everth Cabrera had the worst Revised Zone Rating of qualified shortstops at .746. Betancourt had an RZR of .725 with Seattle and .690 with Kansas City. According to John Dewan, Betancourt has cost his team 39 runs with his defense over the past three seasons, more than any other infielder in Major League Baseball.
On offense, Betanourt finished last among 19 qualifying shortstops in batting average (.245), on-base percentage (.274), runs (40), and steals (3), plus 18th in slugging (.351). His OPS has been in decline since 2007, and at 28-years old, Betancourt's best seasons may be behind him - a sobering thought.
5/4/09: A New Award? - I have referred in the past to my failed attempt to create a “That’s My Dawg!” Award, in honor of Jhonny Peralta’s 2005 season. The idea behind the “That’s My Dawg!” Award was that every time I looked at Peralta’s stats in 2005, I involuntarily exclaimed, out loud, “That’s My Dawg!” It is happening again in 2009 - every time Greinke is pitching, I again finding myself exclaiming out loud. Perhaps at the end of this season, we will create a “Holy F**king Sh*t!” Award.
3/24/09: Terrible Machine Watch - The Royals have the notorious Jamey Wright in camp this spring. If he makes the squad, this would be his eighth stop in the majors, though he played for Colorado twice and has played for the Royals previously. Why is Wright notorious? First, out of 13 seasons, he has finished with more walks than strikeouts six times. Second, only twice in his career has he allowed fewer than a hit per inning. Third, despite having pitched only 1623.0 innings (602nd all time) he ranks 27th all time in hit batsmen. 27th. The 26th and 25th ranked guys are Jamie Moyer and Kenny Rogers, who between them have over 7000 innings pitched. Two spots below Wright is Phil Niekro, a knuckleballer who amassed 5400 innings on his way to pitching till he was 48 years old. --ABC
12/16/08: One-Tool Workshop - With the acquisition of Kyle Farnsworth,
the Royals may now have the largest collection of one-tool players in the
history of baseball. Farnsworth just throws a hard, straight fastball.
Mike Jacobs can only hit for power. Joey Gathright can only run.
Tony Pena Jr. can only field. Jose Guillen and Miguel Olivo can only
throw. This is just speculation, but a team full of one-toolers might not
be the best recipe for success. --KG
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