For three seasons, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ rotation featured arguably the best one-two combination in Major League Baseball with Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke.
Despite Greinke opting out of his contract this past offseason, there was cautious optimism the right-hander would ultimately re-sign with the Dodgers. However, the duo was abruptly broken up as Greinke chose to sign a six-year, $206.5 million contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks, passing on Los Angeles and the San Francisco Giants.
Greinke’s massive contract set a new record for average annual value at $34.42 million. To fill the void left by the former Cy Young Award winner, the Dodgers signed veteran left-hander Scott Kazmir to a three-year deal, and Japanese righty Kenta Maeda to an eight-year deal.
Despite losing one of the best pitchers in baseball and sustaining numerous injuries, the Dodgers’ rotation has managed to hold its own thus far into the season, accumulating a 3.50 ERA which is good for fifth-best in the Majors.
Yasmani Grandal acknowledged the Dodgers lost a strong pitcher in Greinke, but he doesn’t believe his departure has left a lasting effect on the team, via Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic:
“I don’t think it’s really meant much,” Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal said. “Obviously, we lost a really good pitcher, without a doubt. But I feel like the guys we’ve had this year, our starting rotation, have been really good, even with the fact that we’ve lost some guys. … I was just glad he didn’t go to San Francisco.”
Greinke has hit his stride with the Diamondbacks as of late after getting off to a rough start to the season. At the end of April, Greinke’s ERA was 5.50. However, in his last six starts, the 32 year old is 6-0 with a 2.05 ERA.
After his dreadful first month of April, Greinke has lowered his ERA to 3.75 on the season while accumulating a 9-3 overall record.
Despite sitting six games back of the Giants and being only two games above .500, the Dodgers’ rotation hasn’t been the culprit of the subpar season, with that instead being an inconsistent offense.