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Royals' Greinke takes AL Cy Young Award

Kansas City Royals right-hander Zack Greinke, who put together an historic pitching season in relative obscurity for the second-worst team in the American League, was voted the winner of the AL Cy Young Award on Tuesday by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Greinke, 26, won only 16 games in 2009 -- fewest by an AL Cy Young winner since David Cone (16) in the strike-shortened 1994 -- but his sparkling ERA of 2.16 was about a third of a run lower than anyone else in the league and represented the lowest ERA by an AL pitcher since Boston's Pedro Martinez had a 1.74 in 2000. His ERA+ (adjusted for park and league effects, with 100 representing league-average) of 205 was the best since Martinez posted a 210 in 2003.

Formerly the Royals' top pitching prospect, Greinke missed all of the 2006 season due to social anxiety disorder and depression. After recovering and having a breakthrough season in 2008, Greinke signed a four-year $38 million contract extension with the Royals in January.

A complete story and full voting results can be found here.

By Dave Sheinin  |  November 17, 2009; 2:05 PM ET
Categories:  Blue Jays  
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Next: Scioscia, Tracy honored as managers of the year

Comments

Yeah! Considering how far this young man has come to earn such a prestigious award is amazing. Only a few years ago he was ready to walk away from baseball completely. Kudos to Zack and the Royals for sticking with each other, and especially Zack for doing the hard work of mental health therapy and so he could fully realize his athletic potential. Can't wait to see the Royals play the Nats this summer!

Posted by: theo3 | November 17, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

His ERA was killer but he couldn't win games in the second half of the season. between the AL Rookie awards and this one.... I hate to see who wins AL MVP... Brian Roberts :) There were better pitchers than Greinke but they were all bunched together and took votes away from each other. Watch, he'll win 12 games next year!

Posted by: rvanags | November 17, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Rvanrags, this is one of the stupidest statements I have seen about baseball. Just because a pitcher wins the most number of games doesn't mean they deserve the cy young. BETTER pitchers, I don't think playing for the Yankees and winning a bunch a games equates to being a BETTER pitcher.

Let see Greinke's states: 1st in ERA, 2nd in K's, 2nd in shutouts, 2nd in complete games,and first in whip. Please let us know who is better...

Posted by: jhwl | November 17, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Great news. The story of this guy's pro career is one of the most uplifting personal narratives to come out of pro sports in years, and his 2009 season was one for the ages. I hope he's on the mound for many years to come.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | November 17, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I am a college pitching coach. For three years in a row my best pitchers had ERA's less than 1.00 but had losing records. I'm not sure why my team did not score runs for these guys but I am absolutley certain they were the "Cy Young" on my teams. A pitcher for the Yankees could go 19-0 and have a 5.00 ERA but is he the best pitcher? Not in my book.

Posted by: Coach_1 | November 17, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Rvanags - puh-lease. Better review the results again. His strong finish is what WON it for Zack. He went 6-1 in his last 10 starts (with an ERA of 1.75) for the 4th worst team in baseball. Can you imagine a Nats pitcher winning 16? Plus he had added pressure every outing with Royals not scoring runs behind him. Greinke didn’t get wins in late August games where Royals lost 2-1 and 1-0. He had 15 strikeouts in just 8 innings in one game, and answered the critics who said "bet he can't do it again" by throwing a complete game 1-hitter in his very next start. In his final 4 starts he surrendered 2 runs to beat the Tigers, 1 run to beat the Red Sox and 1 run to beat the Twins. And don’t forget his season start...an ERA of 0.40 after 6 starts (Best in baseball in 50 years), and when he beat the O's on May 15, the one run he surrendered in 8 innings actually caused his ERA to go up. He was that good! I'm just glad the baseball writers took notice of a modest guy in a small-media market to give Zach a richly deserved award.

Posted by: 4jhawks | November 17, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Love the Greinke!

Posted by: agl132 | November 17, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

rvanrags comment: "There were better pitchers than Greinke but they were all bunched together and took votes away from each other."
Took votes away from each other?!? Did you read the results? Greinke won with 25 of 28 first-place votes, easily beating runner-up Felix Hernandez of Seattle, who received two first-place votes and Detroit’s Justin Verlander received the other first-place vote. It wasn't even close.

Posted by: theo3 | November 17, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Cy Young Award + Small Market Team = Eventually wearing pin stripes

Posted by: randysbailin | November 17, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Cy Young Award + Small Market Team = Eventually wearing pin stripes

Posted by: randysbailin | November 17, 2009 6:19 PM

Greinke just signed a 4 year deal last January. Maybe the Yankees could pull off a trade similar to the one Roy Halladay never got. Greinke's $38 mil contract is chump change compared to what the @%#! yankees spent last season.

It would be interesting to see the Yanks try to tip the scales, but is completely impractical. Signing free agents is much easier than making trades.

Plus, it seems like the Royals would want to rebuild their team around the 26 yr old.
What a nasty season he had.

So stay away from him, NY! Some day soon these Yankees will show their age.

Posted by: bigtriumverate | November 17, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

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