Former Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke makes his much-anticipated return Tuesday night to Kauffman Stadium when the Milwaukee Brewers hit town for a three-game series against the Royals.
By BOB DUTTON
The Kansas City Star
It marks Greinkes first game against his former team since he pushed for a trade following the 2010 season, which resulted in his departure to Milwaukee as part of a six-player swap.
It will be nice, he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The fans were always good to me. I dont know how theyll be when I go back (as an opponent), but while I was there they were great to me.
Ill never say anything bad about how Ill be treated over there, especially by the fans. As for the players, just about their whole team is different. All the ones I was real close with arent there anymore.
(Alex) Gordon and Hochie (Luke Hochevar) are probably the two closest (of the remaining players). I got along with them good, but they werent there as long as some of the others.
Greinke, now 28, is 7-2 with a 3.13 ERA in 12 starts this season and 23-8 with a 3.62 ERA in 40 starts for Milwaukee. He went 60-67 with a 3.82 ERA for the Royals over 210 games, including 169 starts, in seven seasons and won the 2009 Cy Young.
Hes got great stuff, obviously, Gordon said. I know hes going to be fired up to be pitching back in Kansas City. Friendships aside, weve just got to go out there and take it to him because hes one of the games elite pitchers.
Hopefully, his road record comes into play.
About that road record: Greinke is just 8-8 with a 5.05 ERA in 19 road starts since joining the Brewers. Question is, will this seem like a road start?
I dont think it will be much different, Greinke said. The biggest difference will probably be just being in the visitors dugout and warming up in the visitors bullpen. Ive never thrown in the visitors bullpen there. So that will be strange.
And maybe staying in the visiting hotel. I dont know. My house is like 100 yards away from the visiting hotel, but Im renting it out, so I wont be able to stay there. Some guy did a two-year lease. But Ill be able to see it.
No big deal
Manager Ned Yost and shortstop Alcides Escobar each dismiss any suggestion they possess extra motivation for this weeks series against Milwaukee even though it marks their first regular-season games against the Brewers since their departures.
The Brewers fired Yost late in the 2008 season, while Escobar was part of the six-player deal that sent Greinke to Milwaukee on Dec. 19, 2010.
Its nothing special, Escobar said. Its special that Im here in Kansas City right now. And its good that were facing Greinke on the first day. I like that. But Milwaukee? Its no different than playing Pittsburgh, the Yankees or Boston. Its the same thing.
Yost pointed to several familiar faces on the staff and roster.
(Third-base coach) Eddie Sedar is there, he said. (First-base coach) Garth Iorg. (Bullpen coach) Stan Kyles. All really good coaches. (Ryan) Braun is there. Rickie (Weeks) is there. Corey Hart is there. Yovani Gallardo.
But no big deal. Ive managed against them two or three times in spring training.
Roster move pending?
Second baseman Chris Getz could return to active duty prior to Tuesday nights game after going six for 16 in four games at Class AAA Omaha on a rehab assignment to test his recovery from a bruised left ribcage.
Getz suffered the injury on May 16 in a collision at first base with Baltimores Chris Davis at Kauffman Stadium. Getz aggravated the injury on a slide at second base on May 21 at Yankee Stadium.
Activating Getz would require a corresponding move to clear space. The likely casualty is second baseman Johnny Giavotella, who is batting .217 with a .260 on-base percentage and .261 slugging percentage in 69 at-bats over 21 games since his May 9 recall.
Getz was batting .277 with a .322 OPB and .386 slugging percentage prior to his injury.
The Royals list swingman Luis Mendoza as their starting pitcher in place of injured Felipe Paulino for Tuesday nights series opener against Milwaukee at Kauffman Stadium. It will be his sixth start and 11th appearance.
Mendoza is 2-3 with a 5.36 ERA but has not pitched more than 5 2/3 innings.
Paulino exited his start last Wednesday against Minnesota after13 pitches because of a strained right groin. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list prior to Saturdays game in Pittsburgh.
The Royals plan to start Luke Hochevar on Wednesday but remain undecided for Thursdays series finale against the Brewers. The three likeliest options:
Vin Mazzaro, who started Saturday but lasted just three innings.
Jonathan Sánchez, who has made three rehab starts at Omaha with mixed success in his recovery from biceps tendinitis. He is 1-1 while allowing 10 runs and 14 hits in 13 1/3 innings. He has 13 strikeouts but also seven walks.
Nate Adcock, recalled Saturday from Omaha to serve as a long reliever and fill the roster vacancy created when Paulino went to the disabled list. Adcock pitched two innings in Sundays 3-2 loss to the Pirates but threw only 24 pitches.
Infielder Irving Falu didnt waste any time pushing for a quick recall to the big leagues following his June 1 demotion to Class AAA Omaha.
Falu, 29, was picked the Pacific Coast League player of the week for June 4-10 after going 10 for 19 in six games with two homers and nine RBIs. Overall, he is 13 for 28 in eight games since returning to Omaha.
Class A Wilmington right-handed pitchers Sugar Ray Marimon and Yordano Ventura were selected to the Carolina League all-star team for its June 19 game against the California League in Winston-Salem, N.C. Marimon, 23, is 4-1 with a 2.05 ERA in 13 games; Ventura, 21, is 3-5 with a 3.21 ERA in 12 starts.
It was 13 years ago Tuesday June 12, 1999 that third baseman Joe Randa set a Royals record by getting a hit in his 10th consecutive at-bat with a two-out single in the second inning against Pirates right-hander José Silva in a 9-8 loss at Pittsburgh.
Randas streak ended when he struck out swinging against Silva in the third inning.
To reach Bob Dutton, call 816-234-4352 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at Twitter.com/Royals_Report.