Former Dodgers Ace Not Giving Up Hope On Continuing MLB Career

Friday marked almost 20 years to the day when 40-year-old Zack Greinke made his big league debut with the Kansas City Royals. On this day he took the mound at Salt River Fields in Phoenix with his two sons shagging in the outfield while throwing live batting practice to Arizona Diamondbacks hitters.

The former Los Angeles Dodgers ace is interested in making a return to Major League Baseball. The Diamondbacks are letting him figure it out at their spring training facility.

Greinke began throwing two weeks ago, but the idea for a return to the big leagues germinated when his boys asked him to try throwing a pitch as hard as he could. He did, and it felt “pretty good.”

“My arm feels decent at the moment,” Greinke told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. “I was trying to get as good as I could at golfing the past two months, and I was like, ‘Why am I trying to be a pro golfer when I’m already kind of a pro baseball player?’ So I figured I’d throw a little and see how it goes.”

Piecoro reported that Greinke’s fastball was clocked in the upper 80s. He got swings and misses on his changeup. He threw a handful of slow, loopy curveballs and some cutters. He faced eight batters — two at-bats each for four rehabbing Diamondbacks players: Geraldo Perdomo, Alek Thomas, Jordan Lawlar, and Jorge Barrosa. 

“I told one of the guys I think he could still pitch in the majors,” Perdomo said. “I told him (Greinke) he should come back out and keep throwing. For his changeup to look like that in his first live BP, just imagine when he gets into a rhythm and is ready. I think that’s his best pitch right now. I told him that.”

Said Barrosa: “He looked good. Everything moves. The curveball, it moves a lot. And the change-up was good, too.”

The free agent spent the past two seasons with the Kansas City Royals and moved his family to Arizona full-time this year. He reached out to his former employer and said his agent has not yet got the word out to teams about potentially signing somewhere “because it’s still early.”

“I don’t know if this will be my last time throwing or if I’ll throw the rest of the year and next year,” Greinke said. “I don’t really know at the moment.”

Greinke didn’t go into specifics as to why he wants to play again, but he is only 21 strikeouts shy of 3,000 for his career. He has spent parts of 20 seasons in the big leagues and has a career record of 225-156 with a 3.49 ERA.

Greinke went 51-15 in three seasons (2013-15) with the Dodgers, posting a 2.30 ERA across 92 starts and finishing in the top 10 in Cy Young vote-getters each year.

Photo Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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Maren Angus

Maren Angus-Coombs was born in Los Angeles and raised in Nashville, Tenn. She is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University and has been a sports writer since 2008. Despite being raised in the South, her sports obsession has always been in Los Angeles. She is currently a staff writer for Dodgers Nation and the LA Sports Report Network.


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