This was probably to be expected when Zack Greinke didn’t start his throwing program until the end of last week, but Adam McCalvy’s latest has Ron Roenicke breaking the bad news — Greinke is likely to be out for most (if not all) of April.
Not exactly what most fans want to hear on the eve of Opening Day, but it’s still far from the end of the world.
Once again, the starts through April that were presumed to be Greinke’s as the #1 starter: @CIN, vs ATL, @PIT, @WAS, vs HOU, @HOU. Without considering who would be in line to start those games for the opponents (and with all due respect to the teams involved), how many of those games did the Brewers really need Greinke on the mound to be considered the better team? I would say the first two. That’s it. And only one of those is a division game.
As for the team having to replace Greinke’s performance for a longer period of time, McCalvy points out that the Brewers can get by with four regular starters for much of the month — April 6 (vs ATL) and 16 (@WAS) were the two dates we already knew a fifth starter would be needed. If Greinke were to miss the entire month, they would only need the fifth man for one additional start on April 26 (vs CIN). Mark Rogers was already seen as a possiblity to make that April 16 start — barring any setbacks, you would think he’d definitely be ready by the 26th.
Three starts by guys not in the Opening Day rotation. That’s all this means. Everyone stays on normal rest. It’s going to cause the Brewers to slip in standings projections and some national talking heads will count the Brewers out of the NL Central race, but as noted before, the difference between Greinke and a replacement level pitcher over the course of three starts isn’t even a full win.
Those games are far from automatic losses, and who knows — perhaps Greinke has more in the tank down the stretch because he isn’t going full speed in April.