Royals' Greinke to miss opener, return date uncertain

Updated: March 24, 2006, 9:29 PM ET
Associated Press

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Kansas City Royals will start the season without Zack Greinke, and it remains uncertain when he will return.

Zack Greinke

Greinke left spring training Feb. 26 for unspecified personal reasons to return to his home in Orlando, Fla.

"It sounds like a company line, but he's progressing and moving forward," Royals general manager Allard Baird said Friday. "Is he better than he was last week? Yes."

Baird said, however, that it would be unfair to put a timetable on when Greinke could return to the team.

"If it was a pitch count, a baseball issue, I could tell you," Baird said.

Since Greinke left before any spring training games had begun, he would have to work his pitch count up before appearing in any games.

Baird said the club has not decided whether to put Greinke on the restricted list without pay or on the disabled list to start the season. If he goes on the disabled list, he would receive service time and pay.

Greinke, who was the Royals' first-round pick in the 2002 draft, was 5-17 with a 5.80 earned run average in 33 starts last season. The 17 losses were the most in the American League.

Baird said left-hander Mark Redman would begin the season on the disabled list after having arthroscopic knee surgery earlier this month. Redman, however, is ahead of schedule and could return to the rotation by late April.

Redman, who was acquired in an offseason trade with Pittsburgh, was 5-15 with a 4.90 ERA in 30 starts last season with the Pirates.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press