Apr 7, 2012, 6:31 PM EST
The last couple of years I’ve done first-third awards at the end of May, handing out Rookie of the Years, Cy Youngs and MVPs at the end of May based on what had happened 54 or so games in.
This year, I’m going to call one a little early: Zack Greinke will be the first-third Cy Young in the NL.
Greinke has looked terrific right since the start of the spring, and he was especially exceptional in Saturday’s season debut, shutting out the Cardinals for seven innings. He allowed three hits, walked none and struck out seven.
The Greinke we’re seeing now looks a whole lot like the one who won the 2009 AL Cy Young Award with the Royals. He ended that year with a 2.16 ERA and 242 strikeouts in 229 1/3 innings. The two years since have been modest disappointments, as he finished with a 4.17 ERA in his last year in K.C. and a 3.83 ERA in his first in Milwaukee, but he did strike out a career-best 10.5 batters per nine innings last season, showing his stuff was intact.
Whether he’ll keep it together for the whole year remains to be seen. He has plenty of incentive, this being his walk year, but Greinke seems to look at the world a bit differently than most of the rest of us and his results haven’t always matched his stuff. I’ll trust him to keep it going for a couple of months anyway. For the full year, I think I’d still rather take my chances with Roy Halladay or Clayton Kershaw.
- Report: Talks between the Mets and Curtis Granderson have “intensified” 28
- Yankees agree to seven-year, $153M contract with free agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury 152
- Marlins sign free agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia to three-year, $21 million contract 42
- Carlos Beltran likely to land with the Royals? 16
- Rockies trade Dexter Fowler to Astros for Jordan Lyles 24
- Yankees agree to seven-year, $153M contract with free agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury (152)
- My imaginary Hall of Fame ballot (89)
- When will the Yankees regret the Jacoby Ellsbury contract? (82)
- Yankees’ Jacoby Ellsbury signing to pay big dividends… for now (74)
- Robinson Cano says he never asked for $300 million (69)