Why has McGreevy struggled in the upper levels?
McGreevy is a pitcher who primarily relies on control and polish. He fills up the zone and dares hitters to beat him. His fastball will be, at best, an average Major League pitch. His curveball is probably in the same boat, and so is his changeup. He doesn't have incredible "stuff." This caps McGreevy's ceiling significantly. A positive note for McGreevy is the emergence of his slider, which has improved and could be a plus pitch at the big league level. Once McGreevy reached AA, he found that more advanced hitters were not as easily fooled. Better plate discipline bought these hitters more chances to feast on his fastball, and feast they did. McGreevy got rocked for the rest of 2022. He finished with an ERA of 5.00 in 20 starts. He managed to cover just 99 innings, meaning he averaged less than five innings per start.
It was certainly a step in the wrong direction. However, the Cardinals remained aggressive with his development. They assigned him to AA Springfield again in April of 2023, and he responded to the challenge well. McGreevy enjoyed three spectacular starts and earned a promotion to AAA Memphis. Over the next several months, McGreevy was able to push past some of the issues he faced in 2022. His strikeout rate climbed slightly. The development of his slider and the emergence of a viable changeup helps McGreevy to at least limit the damage lefties were inflicting upon him. He also improved in the efficiency department. McGreevy accumulated over 130 innings in 24 starts. He went deeper into games much more often than he did the previous year.
By the end of the season, McGreevy had recorded an ERA of 4.76 at the AAA level. He demonstrated an ability to limit walks and homers but failed to generate very many strikeouts. On the bright side, he did induce those at an elite rate. He'll allow a lot of base hits, but he'll always be a ground ball away from escaping a jam. McGreevy is the type of pitcher who could casually record 14 outs via ground balls in a given start.