For months fans have longed for the return of America’s pastime, and it has finally arrived. As with any professional team, there are those few special players that fans anticipate watching. Among the clutter of excitement, one player that deserves some attention but has not received it is pitcher Shane Greene.
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Greene is new to Detroit as he was acquired from the New York Yankees this past December in a three-team trade that sent Didi Gregorious to the Big Apple and Robbie Ray to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Many fans looked at it as only somewhat exciting; knowing Greene will be something one day but not worth the bother at the moment. Newsflash everybody, Shane Greene is definitely something to get excited about right now and will be a valuable asset to the Detroit Tigers for years to come.
Last season Greene got his calling when Masahiro Tanaka went down with an elbow injury, making his first career start on July 7th. During his short time in the majors Greene made 14 starts, posting very respectable numbers.
Jason Bray of Yard Barker breaks it down, saying the youngster’s ceiling is incredibly high:
"(Greene posted) a 3.78 ERA and showed an ability to miss bats with a 9.3 K/9 rate. Greene also posted a 3.73 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching), suggesting his ERA was an accurate assessment his performance. He also stranded 74% of all his base-runners and pitched into the 6th inning in nine of his fourteen starts."
Bray also points out it’s worth nothing “during his (Greene) time in the Yankee rotation he saw two periods with nine days off in between starts instead of the normal four,” meaning Greene’s routine could have been thrown off after so much rest, making it all the more difficult to adjust. As a starting pitcher, a solid routine is what will sometimes make a major difference in performance. Greene has already shown that he is not some fragile rookie who has to be nurtured, making the possibilities endless.
As for as his pitching repertoire, it could even make Jim Price say “wow.” After seeing Greene throw a couple of bullpen sessions, manager Brad Ausmus said Green sports a “good sinker, good slider, good cutter” and is a “guy with excellent stuff.”
"Of the 1,352 pitches Green threw last season he threw2-Seam Fastball: 512 pitches (37.9%),Slider: 360 pitches (26.6%)Cutter: 238 pitches (17.6%)"
But the big difference between last season and this season is that Greene has added a changeup to his arsenal: “I haven’t really used my changeup a whole lot because it’s never really been that good, which is why going into the offseason I knew it was something I needed to work on, and I have,” Greene said, “and I’m pretty happy with where it’s at right now.”
Pitching Coach Jeff Jones concurred, saying “based on what I’ve seen personally when he pitched against us and people I’ve talked to, some of his former coaches, I think his ceiling is very high…and I think it’ll be even higher with the changeup.”
If Greene can perfect his changeup, he will be a force in the making. All of this makes it difficult to understand why there is little excitement surrounding him, he has the physicality to be a great starting pitcher, standing 6’4. He has the proper pitches, and he’s durable. But perhaps what is most exciting about Green is that he is just beginning his career and nothing is yet set in stone. When the Tigers traded for him they knew they were receiving a guy that would help them for many years to come, but what many people don’t realize is that Greene will be contributing to the team right out of the gate. He is definitely a man to watch and it is almost certain people will son catch on to why Greene is somebody to watch.