SURPRISE, Ariz. – According to Club officials Zack Greinke, 22, is seeing a sports psychologist near his home in Orlando, Florida for longstanding emotional issues and remains leery of predicting any timetable for his return. Manager Buddy Bell is in contact with him but doesn’t have any expectations on when he’s coming back. Apparently he is dealing with it as best as he can. Greinke struggled last season, when he went 5-17 with a 5.80 ERA in 33 starts. Sources say that Greinke is dealing with emotional issues that prevent him from adapting to the big-league lifestyle, and they remain confident he will return to the Royals. “Zack is important to this team,” owner David Glass said, “and we believe he’s going to get his personal situations squared away and be a contributor this year. We just have to take a real positive approach because this kid is going to be back.” Greinke needs to be in camp by mid-March in order to remain a candidate for the opening-day roster.
If Greinke returns this month, he will probably remain in Arizona for extended spring training when the club breaks camp. He could also spend a brief period in the minors before returning to the big-league club. He was the sixth overall pick in the 2002 draft. He was picked as baseball’s minor-league player of the year by The Sporting News in 2003 and the club’s pitcher of the year as a rookie in 2004.