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Kris Bryant and Zack Greinke return to Coors Field in different capacities

Patrick Lyons Avatar
May 14, 2022

In the eight years since the Kansas City Royals have traveled to Coors Field, a lot has happened with both franchises. 

For the Colorado Rockies, it was consecutive postseasons in 2017-18, the trade of cornerstone Nolan Arenado and a changing of the guard in the front office.

For the Royals, they won the 2015 World Series and, with a one-year deal this offseason, they reunited with Zack Greinke.

Ryan McMahon was a seven-year-old when the veteran starting pitcher was selected by the Royals in the first round of the 2002 MLB Draft. In his sixth year with Colorado, Greinke is still one of the best around.

“I’ve watched him growing up. When I was in eighth grade, I’m pretty sure he was an All-Star,” McMahon quipped. “It’s kind of weird sometimes seeing it, but he’s still out there doing it.”

With 219 career wins (second-most among active players) and 2,819 strikeouts (third-most), there’s been a conversation in certain circles about whether or not Greinke could find his way into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

Bud Black feels it’s something that deserves consideration. 

“I think for me, it’s his mind,” Black said of Greinke’s sustained effectiveness in his 19th MLB season. “Even though it might not look it, I think he’s intense. He’s focused. He’s got great pitching instincts. He does so many things right that make up for the look of a successful starting pitcher.”

The 38-year-old has numerous accolades to go along with his career statistics. He’s been named to the All-Star Game six-times, won the National League Silver Slugger Award for best hitting pitcher twice and voted the American League Cy Young Award winner in 2009.

The return of KC may have been a special rarity, but the battery on Friday night against Colorado was historic. 

Greinke is a six-time winner of the Rawlings’ Gold Glove Award and his catcher, Salvador Pérez, has five of his own.

Together, they are only the second duo in the history of the award to each have five or more. The first and only other: Iván Rodríguez and Kenny Rogers for the 2007-08 Detroit Tigers.

Bryant Back, But Back Still Isn’t Better

Following a cortisone shot and a few days of rest, Kris Bryant was back in Denver doing some baseball activities.

On Friday afternoon, he played catch with trainer Heath Townsend and did some running. He took a round of swings in the batting cage and the initial results are promising.

May 6, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Colorado Rockies third baseman Kris Bryant looks on against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the ninth inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

“Obviously, not trying too hard, but everything was good,” Bryant said of his light activities. “I felt quick. Arm feels good. You really got to pay attention to that stuff too. You think it’s just one area and then you go out there and try to get right back into it and you hurt something else. So all of that is very encouraging for me.”

Bryant mentioned a preference to avoid a cortisone injection when first going on the IL, but the back strain simply did not improve on its own. Alas, he got the shot and results have been better than in the past.

“I think I’ve had three of these before – just in different areas – and I wasn’t really a believer in them until doing one in the back,” he explained. “It wasn’t very comfortable doing the shot (in the back). Hopefully I get a lot of relief from it. So far, so good.”

Though there is no timeline for his return – there usually aren’t with an injury like this – Black did say there would be a rehab assignment in Bryant’s future. 

Diamond Details

  • Even before the Royals snapped a nearly eight-year drought (last visit: Aug 20, 2014), the Minnesota Twins (July 13, 2014) had gone the longest without playing a game at Coors Field.
  • If you’re an autograph hound and would like to collect a signature from all 18 players who have hit for the cycle at 2001 Blake Street, you may want to start with Royals’ coach John Mabry. On May 18, 1996, Mabry hit the first one. Not only did he accomplish the feat in just four at-bats, he did so in order: single, double, triple and home run.
  • The 14-10 loss to Kansas City on Friday night was Colorado’s fifth-consecutive, tied for most this season. They committed multiple errors on the night for the ninth time in 2022; they did so 10 times in all of 2021.
  • Before allowing a season-high of eight runs and a career-high 12 hits on Friday, Kyle Freeland held a 1.57 ERA (23.0 IP, 4 ER) over his previous four starts.


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