Phoenix Zack Greinke is excited just to put on a Kansas City Royals uniform. Not too long ago, he wasn't sure if he'd ever play again after missing most of last season because of social anxiety.
Greinke made his first start for Kansas City since 2005 and gave up three runs and five hits in three innings as a Royals' split squad lost to the Milwaukee Brewers, 7-6, on Friday.
Nestor Corredor hit a two-run single with two outs in the ninth for Milwaukee after the Royals rallied for three runs in the top half of the inning.
"I like being a Royal now, first time probably ever," Greinke said. "I don't know if it was I didn't like being a Royal. It was more I just didn't like playing. Now, I'm just happy to be where I am."
Greinke struck out the side in the second and finished with four Ks. He also had a single off Chris Capuano in the third.
Greinke said it was the first time he'd swung a bat in two years, but he had hit some home runs earlier in the day in batting practice.
"I thought I pitched better than I hit," he said. "Swinging felt good, but pitching I was really happy with what I did today."
Greinke thought his career was over after the Royals said he had left spring training camp in February last season because of personal problems. He didn't return to the Royals until September, when he made three relief appearances after spending most of the year as a starter in Double-A Wichita. Greinke is trying to secure one of two spots open in Kansas City's starting rotation this season.
He has said he worked through his issues with a psychologist and that the toughest part now is convincing people he doesn't have a problem anymore.
Angels (ss) 9, Royals (ss) 6
Surprise, Ariz. - The results weren't exactly there for Luke Hudson, but the gradual improvement was.
"The arm strength still needs to come. We're only up to 60 pitches," Hudson after a split squad loss to a Los Angeles Angels split squad. "Command can always get better. But overall, it was a little bit better than the last time out."
Hudson, penciled in as the Royals' No. 3 starter, gave up one run on five hits in 32â3 innings.
"We threw a little more curveballs than I normally do," he said. "But I'm just trying to get the feel of it. I was just trying to be aggressive. It's still really early in spring training."
Note: Reliever Joe Nelson will meet with medical experts to see if he needs surgery to correct an injured right shoulder, Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore said Friday. Nelson could miss two to three months. The 32-year-old right-hander missed most of 2002 and all of 2003 after undergoing two major surgeries.