Greinke to miss one full turn in rotation
The Brewers let Zack Greinke do something no Major League pitcher had done in 95 years — start three consecutive team games in the same season.
“It didn’t work,” manager Ron Roenicke said.
Roenicke took the blame after bumping Greinke from his scheduled start against the Cardinals on Wednesday, concurring with general manager Doug Melvin’s earlier characterization of a team giving its star pitcher a chance to “recharge his batteries.”
Greinke will miss one full turn in the rotation before returning to duty on July 24 in Philadelphia, said Roenicke, arguing the Brewers used the All-Star break to give fellow right-hander Yovani Gallardo a similar respite.
Greinke will have gone 10 days between starts, a break he declined to endorse in a brief question and answer session with reporters. It comes at a doubly importune time for the Brewers, who on one hand are in the middle of a stretch of three consecutive series against the teams they trail in the National League Central, and on the other hand are gauging interest in Greinke on the trade market.
“The more important thing is, we need to get him pitching right,” Roenicke said. “And, he didn’t pitch well the second day, after he was thrown out, and he didn’t pitch well in his last outing, which is unusual because he’s really thrown the ball well. The longer range is a lot more important than bringing him back from St. Louis.”
Asked whether Greinke had any physical ill-effects from his strange schedule, Roenicke said, “other than not feeling right and a little fatigued, no. I can’t say ‘no soreness’ because a pitcher always has soreness the day after. Always.”
But nothing unusual?
“Not to where it would be a concern,” Roenicke said. “I think it was just not feeling right. Out of whack.”
Roenicke characterized the issue as physical, and totally unrelated to Greinke’s past issues with focus.
“He’s fine mentally,” Roenicke said. “The mental part of it, he said, is not an issue.”
Greinke started July 7 at Houston and was ejected after four pitches. He returned to start the next day and was not sharp over three innings, then pitched the Brewers’ first game after the break on regular rest and again scuffled, allowing five earned runs on seven Pirates hits in five innings.
Whether the Brewers approached Greinke about skipping a start or the other way around remained unclear on Monday.
“He just didn’t feel right. We kind of got him out of his routine,” Roenicke said. “The All-Star break didn’t help because he also didn’t have a bullpen between his start. … Hey, any time I get somebody out of whack, I’m always going to question the things we do. If I don’t, how do I learn from it?”
For his part, Greinke had little to say about the developments. He deferred to Roenicke on questions about how the sides decided to skip a start, and would not say whether he was on board with the result.
“I don’t really have much to say about it,” Greinke said. “I’m just going with whatever they say. Hopefully, I come back pitching good whenever I pitch next. I don’t know what he said that is.”
He added: “Pretty much, we talked about it, and I just said I was going to go with whatever [Roenicke] said so there’s no mixed words. That’s about it.”
Was he OK with the decision to skip a start?
“I’m fine with it,” Greinke said. “I don’t know — I’ve been just going what whatever [Roenicke] said. I don’t know why you have to ask me when I say the same exact words that came out of his mouth.”
Was he OK missing a game against a division rival?
“I want to pitch every day,” Greinke said. “That’s not possible.”
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