Friday, March 10, 2006

Grienke Still in the Wrong Spring Training State

Once referred to as the next Brett Saberhagen, Zack Grienke has decided to take a break instead. Grienke, who is still hanging out in sunny Florida, isn't partaking in the Royals' Spring Training festivities. Mainly because the Royals facility is located across the gulf in Arizona, partly because Grienke is having some, well, personal issues.

The question here is how dod the Royals not see this coming. Jeffery Flannagan of the Kansas City Star reports that the Royals say there's no way they could have seen the problems coming.

You know what could have been a big part of it? Former KC pitching coach Guy Hansen. For whatever reason Guy thought Grienke should throw a bit harder than what he was used to. According to Zack's official web site, Hansen also tried to move Grienke to the other side of the rubber. Instead of taking a control pitcher like Grienke and molding him into a better version of himself, why not try to change the very aspect of what makes him so good? Great idea! Perhaps that's the biggest reason why Grienke's stats plummeted last year. Perhaps the reason Grienke is reevaluating his place in baseball right now. For a 22 year old kid to be so good and then so terrible for such a terrible team can do a lot for his psyche. A 22 year old kid in the Show needs all the confidence he can get, so when you go and tinker with his mechanics for the worse, it's going to hurt more than just his stats. If you want to draft a fireballing pitcher, draft one. Obviously that's not what the Royals wanted when they drafted Grienke. Hansen should try being what he was paid to be: a pitching coach. Not a magician.

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