The reigning AL Cy Young Award winning Zack Greinke will take the mound at Kaufmann Stadium when the Royals open the season with the Detroit Tigers and Justin Verlander who has dominated the Royals in years past.
Greinke is coming off a 16-8 season in which his ERA was 2.16. Many on the team including pitching coach Bob McClure thinks Greinke can be even better now that he has perfected his changeup giving him a fourth pitch he is confident in using. Meanwhile, Verlander’s name was up for consideration of the Cy Young, after going 19-9 last year with an ERA that wasn’t too shabby either at 3.45.
Verlander is 9-2 in 14 career starts against the Royals with a 2.32 ERA.
With third basemen Alex Gordon on the disabled list along with Josh Fields, the Royals will start Willie Bloomquist at third. There will be four new faces in the Royals lineup including Scott Podsednik in left, Rick Ankiel in center, Chris Getz at second base and Jason Kendall behind the plate.
Gordon, Fields and starting pitcher Gil Meche will start the season on the DL. Meche could start as early as the 11th in the Boston series as he recovers from shoulder stiffness.