Former Mariner Grotz Joins Monarchs Rotation

WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Another major-league arm is joining the Kansas City Monarchs, just in time for the playoffs.

Zac Grotz, who pitched for the Seattle Mariners in 2019 and 2020, is joining the Monarchs’ roster, the American Association club announced Friday.

Grotz is scheduled to start the Monarchs’ game Sunday afternoon against Winnipeg.

The Monarchs now have nine former major leaguers on their roster. They clinched a playoff spot Thursday night and are closing in on their fourth division title in four seasons.

Grotz, 30, has nine seasons of professional experience including stints with five different major league organizations.

The San Francisco Bay Area native made his major-league debut with Seattle on August 2, 2019. He posted a 4.15 ERA and 1.27 WHIP over 14 relief appearances with the Mariners that season, striking out 18 in 17.1 innings.

Grotz returned to the M’s big-league roster in 2020. He recorded four strikeouts in five appearances, including fanning future MVP Shohei Ohtani.

A 28th-round draft pick by Houston out of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2015, Grotz spent one year in the Astros’ system. He posted a 3.27 ERA between Rookie-level Greeneville and Low-A Tri-City that year.

Grotz started the 2016 season with the Washington WildThings of the Frontier League. He earned a 1.36 ERA and 51/9 strikeout-to-walk ratio and had his contract transferred to the Dodgers organization.

After five rookie-level appearances with the Dodgers in 2016, Grotz signed with Bridgeport in the Atlantic League for the 2017 season. He posted a 3.77 ERA and 9.7 K/9 over 67 relief appearances that season.

Grotz returned to the Atlantic League for the 2018 season, starting the season with York. He delivered a 2.53 ERA in seven games (four starts) and once again had his contract transferred, this time to the Mets organization.

After 13 starts with Class A Columbia in 2018, Grotz caught on with the Mariners organization for 2019 and became one of the top minor-league arms in the country. He posted a 2.39 ERA and 1.01 WHIP over 28 appearances (six starts) between Double-A and Triple-A that season, priming him for his big-league call-up.

Grotz made eight appearances for Triple-A Worcester in the Red Sox system in 2021, missing some time with injury. He was teammates that season with Monarchs catcher Chris Herrmann and Monarchs pitching coach Matt Hall.

Most recently, Grotz has 10 appearances (seven starts) this season with Monclova in the Mexican summer league.

The Monarchs have the American Association’s best record at 53-36 heading into Friday’s action. They lead the West Division by six games with 10 games to go.