The Arizona Diamondbacks shocked the baseball world a couple of different times over the last week when they landed free agent pitcher Zack Greinke on a six-year, $206 million contract and then consumated a trade that brought 25-year-old pitcher Shelby Miller to the desert.
The Greinke move was met mostly with awe and excitement, as it’s rare where the D-backs sign a player of that caliber. The Miller trade, on the other hand, seemed to draw ire, with many believing the price of outfielder Ender Inciarte along with minor league pitcher Aaron Blair and minor league shortstop Dansby Swanson was too high a price to pay.
Whatever the opinions of the moves, it’s hard to argue the D-backs did not improve their rotation by adding the right-handers, but what exactly did Arizona acquire? Here’s a look, by the numbers.
Greinke and Miller have appeared in four combined All-Star games. Three of them belong to Greinke, who appeared in 2009, 2014 and 2015, in which he got the starting nod. Miller made his first All-Star team last season.
Though total wins are not necessarily a judge of a pitcher’s effectiveness, the Greinke/Miller combo brings 174 to the Valley.
Miller and Greinke have combined for 18 complete games, eight of which were also shutouts. Though Greinke has been a big league pitcher three-times as long as Miller, the younger hurler has notched the same number of complete-game shutouts as his new teammate.
One of the hallmarks of a quality pitcher is his ability to take the mound often and stay there for a while. In 2015, Greinke tallied 222.2 innings of work, while Miller poured in 205.1. Last season’s Diamondbacks did not have a single pitcher reach the 200-inning mark, with Rubby De La Rosa’s 188.2 leading the way.
Last season, Greinke struck out 200 batters, which ranked 11th in the National League. Miller fanned 171, which put him in a tie for 17th. The highest K total for a D-back belonged to De La Rosa, who punched out just 150 batters, ranking 28th.
Miller and Greinke have 11 postseason starts between them (nine for Greinke, two for Miller). Only two pitchers on Arizona’s roster have started a postseason game, and both Josh Collmenter and Daniel Hudson are likely to be relief pitchers in 2016.
Shelby Miller’s 17 losses in 2015 may seem unsightly, but the Braves did little to help him by averaging just 2.64 runs per game in his starts — easily the lowest mark in the all of baseball. Greinke’s Dodgers were a little more kind, chipping in an average of 3.84 runs in his outings. For comparison’s sake, Arizona’s De La Rosa was granted 5.16 runs per start, which ranked sixth in MLB.
Greinke is no slouch at the plate, as he brings a career .220 average with six home runs and 14 RBI to Arizona. He’s also struck out just 58 times over his 12-year career, so he puts the ball in play. Miller isn’t quite as adept at the plate, but does come to the D-backs with one home run and six RBI.
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