Zack Greinke was ejected in the bottom of the first inning against the Astros this afternoon for spiking a ball in the dirt following a close call at first base.
Greinke gave up a leadoff triple to Jordan Schafer before Jose Altuve hit a chipper to Corey Hart at first base. Greinke ran over to the first base bag to catch the throw from Hart, but Altuve was ruled safe on a very close play. Greinke didn’t argue the call, but took out his frustrations by slamming the ball into the ground. He was then given the boot by first base umpire Sam Holbrook. You don’t see that very often.
Brian McTaggart of MLB.com passes along word that that Greinke was saying, “I’m mad at myself. I’m mad at myself,” so it appears he was taking his frustrations out on himself for losing the footrace. However, Holbrook evidently took it personally. Trigger-happy, much? Brewers manager Ron Roenicke emerged from the dugout to defend his starting pitcher, but he was also ejected from the game. Livan Hernandez is now pitching in relief.
Any scouts who came to see Greinke today are likely bummed, but it’s not a complete lost cause. Wandy Rodriguez, another popular trade target, is pitching for the Astros.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.