The Royals are 67-98 in Zack Greinke's 165 career starts

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Zack Greinke threw eight innings last night and allowed four runs against one of the best lineups in the league. He lost. And he usually does, not because Greinke is bad but because his teammates are horrible. He has a perfectly solid 3.90 ERA and the Royals are 10-19 in his starts.
None of which is anything new. Last night was the 165th start of Greinke’s career. He has a 3.77 ERA as a starter, and to put that in context the two best team ERAs in the league this season are 3.58 and 3.84. So in his 165 career starts Greinke has essentially given the Royals the equivalent of the best pitching staff in the league while he’s in the game.
And in those 165 starts the Royals are 67-98. Seriously.
When given 165 starts of his 3.77 ERA starting pitching the Royals have won 40.6 percent of the time, which is almost unfathomable. During that same time period the Royals have won 40.4 percent of their games started by someone other than Greinke. And believe me, the “someones” who started those other 784 games didn’t come close to posting a 3.77 ERA.
Poor guy.

Zack Cozart thinks the way the Rays have been using Sergio Romo is bad for baseball

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The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.

In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.

The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.

Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”

It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.

It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.