Former Blue Darter ace makes 400th career major league start

Zack Greinke reached a major-league milestone Sunday when he made his 400th career start against the San Diego Padres. Greinke pitches for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He became only the fourth active pitcher in Major League Baseball to reach 400 career starts.

Greinke went into the game with a 9-5 record and a 3.39 earned-run-average in 19 starts for the Diamondbacks in 2018. In his career, he is 181-112 with a 3.40 ERA.

Zack Greinke

Arizona is Greinke’s fifth team. Besides the Diamondbacks, he has pitched for the Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers. He is signed with Arizona through the 2021 season as part of a six-year contract worth $206.5 million.

Greinke was born in Orlando, the son of teachers Donald and Marsha Greinke. He was active in Little League and also excelled in tennis and golf tournaments as a youth. As a teenager, Greinke helped lead his team to the Senior League World Series title in 1999. He played shortstop for the team and his coach estimated that he hit close to .700 in the tournament.

Greinke was primarily a shortstop when he started playing baseball at Apopka High School. He hit over .400 with 31 home runs in his high school career. He worked as a relief pitcher as a sophomore and junior, before becoming a starting pitcher as a senior. During his senior season, in 2002, Greinke compiled a 9–2 record, a 0.55 ERA, and 118 strikeouts in 63 innings. He also held opposing batters to a .107 average. He led his team to a 32–2 record and their third straight district title, and he was selected as Gatorade National Player of the Year. After the high school season ended, he played in the Florida Athletic Coaches Association All-Star Classic and impressed pro scouts with his performance against some of the best hitters in the country.

Greinke was selected in the first round of the 2002 Major League Baseball Draft by the Kansas City Royals, who felt he was a polished player who could move quickly through their system. Greinke turned down a scholarship offer from Clemson University to sign with the Royals for a $2.5 million signing bonus.

In his 400th start against the Padres, Greinke pitched 4.1 innings, allowing six hits, three walks, and two runs while striking out five batters. The Padres defeated Arizona 4-3 in 16 innings, but Greinke earned a no-decision in the game.

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