It's not often when the solution to a pitcher's struggles is throwing as hard as he can. Usually, it's because the pitcher is doing the exact opposite, overthrowing a bit. Yet Zack Greinke says the biggest difference between the pitcher with a 5.80 ERA and 1.56 WHIP in 33 starts in 2005 and the one having success now is all about airing it out.
"I used to just try to have good control and locate things because that's what one of my pitching coaches wanted me to do," Greinke said. "I used to have mechanics that were just for control purposes and when I started pitching badly, I decided for the most part I was just going to throw as hard as I could. That's what I do now."
He won't name the coach specifically, but it's clear that Greinke, who is still just 24, believes then-pitching coach Guy Hansen didn't do him any favors in 2005. I remember talking to Hansen in that time period, and he recited a laundry list of things Greinke needed to overhaul despite a successful 24 starts in the big leagues the season before. At the time I thought that it seemed like pretty extensive changes for a pitcher who had been successful as a professional.