Royals pitcher Zack Greinke will definitely be out for an extended period of time. The team announced yesterday that they’ve put the 22-year old pitcher on the 60-day disabled list as he continues to work with a psychologist in his home of Orlando, Florida. Greinke, who was slated to be a member of the Royals’ starting rotation, left spring training in Surprise, Arizona on February 25. He was 5-17 last season with a 5.60 ERA.
The Royals will start the season with non-roster invitees Steve Stemle and Luke Hudson on the team. They were two of four pitchers battling for two remaining spots in the bullpen.
Closter Mike MacDougal and starter Mark Redman were placed on the 15-day DL, while reliever Joel Peralta and starter Runelvys Hernandez were optioned to Class AAA Omaha.
The Royals open the 2006 season at home against the Detroit Tigers, hoping to begin a recovery process. Kansas City set a franchise record with 106 losses in 2006 and dropped 100 for the third time in the last four seasons. Last year, many Royals had little, if any major league experience. With an increased payroll of around $50 million, the team acquired some veterans, who are expected to infuse new life.
Two starters for the Cardinals post-season team in 2005 are now 250 miles to the east. Right fielder Reggie Sanders and second baseman Mark Grudzielanek will start for Kansas City. So will former Gold Glove-winning first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz, who came over from the Mets. This means Mike Sweeney is expected to see a lot more time in the DH slot.
The pitching staff also saw a couple of new faces, including the opening day starter, Scott Elarton. Elarton, who was 11-9 with Cleveland a year ago. Elarton was moved into the starting slot, when Mark Redman his knee. Redman was 5-15 with the Pirates last season.
ROYALS PROBABLE STARTERS
Scott Elarton, P
John Buck, C
Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B
Mark Grudzielanek, 2B
Mark Teahen, 3B
Angel Berroa, SS
Emil Brown, LF
David DeJesus, CF
Reggie Sanders, RF
Mike Sweeney, DH