MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 28: Zack Greinke #13 of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first inning at a Major League Baseball game at Miller Park Stadium on September 28, 2011 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Darren Hauck/Getty Images)
There's been some interesting reaction out there to the Brewers' decision to start Zack Greinke on Sunday on short rest. It's been the expected decision for a couple of days now: Ron Roenicke had implied he'd leave it up to Greinke and I think we all suspected he'd choose short rest Sunday over extra rest and a Tuesday start.
Seth Pollack of SB Nation Arizona, however, sees the situation a little differently. Here are some quotes from a post he just published:
Roenicke asking his pitcher to throw on short rest for two consecutive games for the first time in his career shows how little confidence he has in Greinke's ability to win on the road.
It's the kind of high-risk moves managers make that can easily backfire and certainly is a sign that Roenicke doesn't have full confidence in his team to deliver in any situation.
Let me start with this: I have no idea why Ron Roenicke (or any other manager in his shoes) would be prone to panic or lacking confidence right now. He's managing a 96 win team that hasn't lost a playoff game yet and has homefield advantage in the series. Furthermore, if Greinke had told Roenicke anything but "I'm dead set on making this start," Roenicke would have had two other good options to start in his place, Shaun Marcum and Randy Wolf.
Greinke is in somewhat uncharted territory here: This will be his first playoff appearance and the first time he's ever pitched back-to-back starts on short rest. But it's also worth noting that his workload to this point has been much less than usual: Because he missed all of April and part of May he's only thrown 171.2 innings this season. He threw over 220 in 2009 and 2010.
Simply put, there's no reason to believe that Ron Roenicke or anyone else in the organization is forcing Greinke onto the mound to avoid the alternatives. They're doing everything they can to put their best possible team on the field at home this weekend, and I think that's commendable.