KC Royals announce Opening Day starting pitcher
By Jacob Milham
The KC Royals are in the midst of a youth movement, but it will be one of MLB's oldet pitchers getting hte Opening Day starting nod, Mar. 30. Zack Greinke, a 19-year MLB veteran, will start for the Royals against the Minnesota Twins in Kauffman Stadium to open the 2023 season for both teams. MLB.com's Anne Rogers broke the news Mar. 24, less than a week ahead of the 2023 season's start.
This marks Greinke's second consecutive Opening Day start for the Royals after returning to the team for the 2022 season. He only had one Opening Day start during his first Royals tenure, all the way back in 2009. He will be the ninth Kansas City pitcher with three Opening Day starts, trailing Kevin Appier Royals-record seven Opening Day starts.
KC Royals manager Matt Quatraro announced veteran Zack Greinke will start Opening Day for the Royals on March 30.
The six-time All-Star's career is coming to a close, but a final Opening Day start seems appropriate for Greinke. Royals fans speculated the nod may go to the younger Brady Singer, who represents the future of the Royals rotation. But, as Greinke enters his 20th MLB season, this Opening Day start feels very symbolic of how important his career has been. Some may remember his first tenure in Kansas City in a distasteful light, but the Royals trading Greinke to the Milwaukee Brewers brought several impact players to Kansas City. Center fielder Lorenzo Cain, shortstop Alciedes Escobar, and pitcher Jake Orodizzi were all key players or trade pieces en route to the 2015 World Series. Greinke's return to Kansas City last season pleased many fans, even if he was not nearly as dominant on the mound.
Greinke ranks in the top three among active pitchers for starts (1st), innings (1st), wins (2nd), and strikeouts (3rd). Kauffman Stadium is and was very kind to Greinke, as he has allowed 2 or fewer earned runs in 17 of his last 19 starts. The stadium will certainly assist in his 2023 performance, one that FanGraphs projects will still be an above-average pitcher. Fans will cheer for another strong home start for Greinke, as the team begins their AL Central play next Thursday.