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Thursday, March 8, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL CRISIS POINT: ZACK GREINKE SP ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

                                                                 

Yes we have our first CRISIS POINT of the 2018 fantasy baseball season and a game that counts has not even been played yet.  This feature is reserved for non-injury negative developments that hurt a pitcher or hitter's performance and cause angst to their fantasy baseball owners.  Such a scenario is likely starting to envelope the owners of Arizona Diamondbacks ace Zack Greinke who should have nothing but positives attached to his name after he posted a big comeback campaign in 2017 and then learned a pitcher-friendly humidor would be installed at Chase Field.  The big negative caveat to all this however is the disturbing velocity numbers of Greinke early on in spring, with his intrasquad fastball coming in between just 84-86 mph.  Greinke addressed this with the media by saying he may "not have it anymore" but most took that as a tongue-in-cheek comment.  Be that as it may, lagging velocity is never a good thing and the hope is that Greinke will be able to build it up as the spring goes on.  What is disturbing though is that Greinke is 34 and has a ton of mileage on his arm.  Even last season when he came back with a very good 3.20 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and 215 K's; his fastball average was a career-worst 91.  Want more?  With Greinke always being home run-prone, any further lag in velocity will likely cause his HR/9 to rise and thus his ERA and WHIP.  So this is really something that needs to be watched closely and one only has to think back to Jered Weaver as a case in point of how a career can completely derail once the fastball go.  Weaver was a monster 200-K pitcher himself with the Los Angeles Angels but then annual fastball dips caused him to be run out of the majors under a hail of runs.  This is not to say we expect Greinke to go this route but it does cloud his fantasy baseball outlook as drafts continue.


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