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Zack Greinke named Royals Opening Day starter

It will be his second Opening Day start for Kansas City

Kansas City Royals Photo Day Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Royals manager Mike Matheny named Zack Greinke his starter for the season opener on April 7 at home against Cleveland. It will be the sixth Opening Day start for Greinke, but just his second in a Royals uniform, the last one coming in 2010. According to Elias Sports and reporter Sarah Langs, the 12-year gap is the longest between Opening Day starts for the same club.

At age 38, Greinke will be the oldest Opening Day starter in Royals history, according to Anne Rogers, surpassing 36-year old Tim Belcher in 1998. Greinke signed a one-year, $13 million deal to return to the Royals after winning 11 games with a 4.16 ERA in 171 innings for the Astros last season.

Matheny has yet to name the rest of his rotation, but likely candidates include Brad Keller, Brady Singer, Carlos Hernández, Daniel Lynch, Kris Bubic, and Jackson Kowar. The club may also go to a six-man rotation to ease pitchers into the season following a shortened spring training.

Royals Opening Day starters:

Wally Bunker 1969-1970

Dick Drago 1971-1972

Steve Busby 1973, 1975

Paul Splittorff 1974, 1976-1977

Dennis Leonard 1978-1980, 1982

Larry Gura 1981, 1983

Bud Black 1984-1986

Danny Jackson 1987

Bret Saberhagen 1988, 1990-1991

Mark Gubicza 1989

Kevin Appier 1992-1997, 1999

Tim Belcher 1998

Jeff Suppan 2000-2002

Runelvys Hernandez 2003

Brian Anderson 2004

Jose Lima 2005

Scott Elarton 2006

Gil Meche 2007-2009

Zack Greinke 2010, 2022

Luke Hochevar 2011

Bruce Chen 2012

James Shields 2013-2014

Yordano Ventura 2015

Edinson Volquez 2016

Danny Duffy 2017-2018, 2020

Brad Keller 2019, 2021