The current Dodgers starting rotation is far from the 2021 cadre of aces. Los Angeles will likely need to improve the backend of the rotation to pave the way to a successful 2022. Could former Dodgers ace Zack Greinke be the answer?
Greinke could help bridge the gap between Walker Buehler and Julio Úrias and the rest of the starting staff. Tony Gonsolin, Andrew Heaney, and David Price are all question marks. As is Dustin May’s return from 2021 Tommy John surgery.
Dodgers insider David Vassegh strongly supported the idea of a Greinke return this week on Dodger Talk.
“He had a pretty good year with Houston last year…he was still able to have an era in the AL West under 4.00. He would help these younger pitches get better like [Ryan] Pepiot, Bobby Miller, Landon Knack. He would help their pitching staff get better.”
Greinke’s Leadership Upside
Greinke is a unique personality. He also one of the most prepared pitchers in the MLB. His incredible pitching repertoire is what got him to the majors. His work ethic is the reason he’s made multiple All-Star teams on the wrong side of 30.
He could help mold the next generation of Dodgers starters in addition to solidifying the rotation.
Greinke by the Numbers
To Vassegh’s point, Greinke recorded a 3.62 ERA against divisional opponents. The AL West isn’t a buzzsaw, but it’s encouraging that Greinke was effective against hitters who see him multiple times a year. The only blemish is his 6.51 ERA in his starts against the Texas Rangers.
He finished the 2022 season with a 4.16 ERA in 29 starts. In his first 26 starts, Greinke had a 3.41 ERA. Four poor starts to finish the year (20 ER in 15.1 IP) drastically inflated his ERA.
The Dodgers don’t need Greinke to be the perennial Cy Young contender he was in Los Angeles.
What they need, is a quality veteran starter to strengthen the rotation.