Zack Greinke signed a four-year, $38 million contract extension last month with the Kansas City Royals.

Greinke looked to be worth the investment Friday.

Zack Greinke signed a four-year, $38 million contract extension last month with the Kansas City Royals.
Greinke looked to be worth the investment Friday in his spring training debut, throwing two perfect innings in the Royals’ 6-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants.
“I was going out just like the normal spring training, the first game,” Greinke said. “I always do bad to start. I was like, ’Maybe I should try a little harder the first game because of that (new contract).’ It’s still spring training. The main thing is just getting your stuff working for the real deal.”
Greinke, a 25-year-old right-hander, earned the big contract after going 13-10 with a 3.47 ERA and 183 strikeouts last season. He tied teammate Gil Meche for fifth in the American League in strikeouts, while his ERA ranked 10th in the AL.
He said he doesn’t feel he has to do anything extra to justify the hefty contract.
“So if I don’t do what I’ve got to do, then I feel like it hurts the team’s chances a lot more,” Greinke said. “We’re counting on me more because of that. I’ve got to do what I’m paid to do pretty much.”
Greinke made it look easy against the Giants, throwing 16 strikes in 24 pitches, getting three routine ground ball outs in the first inning and striking out John Bowker in the second.
“It would be nice if that happened every time,” Greinke said. “There were balls hit at people. Things can go either really bad in two innings or it can look really good in two innings. You don’t really get the whole story. The main thing was my stuff was pretty good. The location wasn’t great. The location usually comes later on. My changeup was better than usual.”
He rated his performance “good for the first game, but still a lot of improvement needs to be made before the season starts because that wouldn’t work for six to eight innings, consistently. I’ve got to be able to mix more pitches in and locate my fastball better when the season starts.”
Royals pitching coach Bob McClure was pleased with what he saw.
“It was good,” McClure said. “He was working on his changeup and only threw one breaking ball. His arm looked real healthy. His changeup is getting better. It will even make him a better pitcher.”
Said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, “That kid had great stuff. They’ve got a good one.”
Greinke did have one regret — he didn’t get to bat against Giants left-hander Randy Johnson, a likely Hall of Famer.
“I wanted to face Randy,” Greinke said. “He’s probably more fun to hit off now than 10 years ago. It would be neat to say I got to hit off him. That would be the main reason. He’s a special player.”
ROYALS NOTES: LHP John Bale has returned to Kansas City for thyroid tests after blood work from his spring training physical detected irregularities. “They’re going to evaluate that — we’ll see where it goes,” Royals manager Trey Hillman said. ... OF Jose Guillen did not make the trip to Scottsdale, but threw at the Royals’ complex at Surprise. A sore right shoulder has not allowed Guillen to play the outfield in the first three games. ... The Royals asked for unconditional release waivers on LHP Neal Musser, who was designated for assignment on Feb. 19.