Sunday, February 10, 2008

Another "coach" on staff?

David Riske was a valuable mentor to several Royals pitchers last year and could be a vital influence off the field to the Brewers bullpen in 2008:
KANSAS CITY - Mike Sweeney is not the only player who could be playing his final game with the Royals on Sunday. Several players, most notably David Riske, are not currently under contract for 2008.

Riske, one of the key pieces of the Royals' rebuilding process this season, has a 2.45 ERA in 65 games, the best mark by a KC pitcher. He has also served as a mentor for the young staff, especially Zack Greinke.

"He has been a wonderful guy this year," general manager Dayton Moore said. "He has impacted our bullpen in a very positive way with his approach and his success on the mound. We want to have a good baseball team, and in order to have a good baseball team, you have to have people like him on it."

Riske, who has a $2.9 million player option for 2008, is examining all options before making a choice.

"I am enjoying myself here tremendously and all of the guys on the team and the front office," he said. "I know that I have had a pretty good year. I know that it is business. It is kind of nice that you had a good year and you are a free agent and you want to see what other teams think about you and what's it's like."

Riske's help to Greinke has proven especially beneficial.

Greinke was moved to the bullpen after a rocky six weeks in the rotation at the beginning of the season. Riske became Greinke's daily card-playing partner in the clubhouse and helped him improve his craft.

Under Riske's help, Greinke posted a 3.54 ERA as a reliever. Moved back to the rotation in late August, Greinke had a 1.81 ERA in six starts to finish the season.

"Riske was the first one who has taught me anything about pitching," Greinke said. "I have learned the simple things from some people like keep the ball down, but he is the first person to actually help me out. ... He is not the only reason, but without him, I don't think I would have pitched as good as I did this year. He had by far the most impact on me."

A hat tip to NYChez on for providing the link.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home Network Member

Advertise with the MLB Hub Network