Detroit Tigers pitcher Shane Greene has the recipe for success


When the Detroit Tigers acquired Shane Greene from the New York Yankees, people really didn’t know what to think. Mainly because nobody had ever heard of the guy. But after a few starts while wearing the English D, Greene is quite difficult to forget.

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In 2014 he went 5-4 with a 3.78 ERA in 15 games last season with the Yankees, which is a very strong rookie campaign. In three starts with the Tigers, Greene has allowed one earned run over 23 innings, going 3-0 with a 0.39 ERA.

That is absolutely incredible, and several factors will determine how the rest of Greene’s season pans out. All in all, though, Greene is showing no signs of slowing down.

The Coaching

First and foremost, it’s Greene’s improved mechanics that has brought him much of his success. Tigers pitching coach Jeff Jones, whom possesses the wizard-like power of converting good pitchers into great pitchers, has had quite the influence on Greene. Jones himself recently compared the 26 year-old pitcher to former Tiger Rick Porcello, saying “”Yeah, I guess you could say he’s a little bit like Ricky,” Jones said…like we were talking about earlier, he’s carried down what he did in spring training from after his first time out. He got on a roll and keeps throwing strikes, making the ball move, and it’s a recipe for success.”

Jones seems to be a very modest guy and is rarely one to toot his own horn, but Jones has taught Greene how to use his body to his advantage. Greene is 6’4 and weighs in at 210 pounds. A strong gust of wind could knock this man down. But rather trying to be a power pitcher, which he’s not, Greene has accepted that he is  just a pitcher that gets the job done. By using his entire body he consistently throws strikes and is able to itch deep into games.

Manager Brad Ausmus concurred with Greene’s consistency, according to Aaron McMann of MLive:

"“The first three starts, I don’t think I expected him to be this efficient and throw this many strikes,” Ausmus said. “A young guy, I didn’t realize he was going to be able to pound the strike zone the way he has so far. And I hope it continues.”"

The Defense

Though there were rumblings, the defense was not supposed to be the highlight of the 2015 Detroit Tigers. But thus far the defense has proven to be one of the best in the majors. Detroit currently sports the second best fielding percentage in the entire MLB; only the Atlanta Braves are better. They also have the second-fewest errors in the MLB, with only four this season. To put that into perspective, the Washington Nationals lead the league in errors with fifteen.

The infield is quick and the amount of runs that are saved by the infield squad will be astronomical by the season’s end. As much as Green hits the strike zone, he induces an equal number of ground ball outs, which is where the Porcello comparisons are drawn from. When he doesn’t strike somebody out there is no reason to worry as the defense has it. A speedy trio of Jose Iglesias, Nick Castellanos, and Ian Kinsler, along with Miguel Cabrera holding things down over at 1st base, it’s a stonewall in Detroit.

Plus, when Jose Iglesias makes plays like this, it’s hard to think otherwise.

The Mindset

As much as baseball is a game, it’s also a business. Shane Greene knows this and recently expressed his emotions when the Yankees traded him to the New York Daily News:

"“I felt like I got dumped…I looked at myself in the mirror, put a chip on my shoulder and went from there.”Greene also said  “I know it’s a business…I’m not a complete idiot, so I knew if something was going to happen my name would be at least talked about with the situation over there.“I knew at that point in time my trade value was probably at its peak. If they were going to make a move, I was probably going to be one of the pieces,” he added."

Obviously I’m not Shane Greene so I can’t put words in his mouth but it sounds as though somebody is a bit upset with their former team. But rather speaking out irrationally, Green is harnessing that negative energy and turning into something positive. It’s drive and ambition; almost like a fuel. The idea of getting “dumped” as fueled his fire for success. Every successful pitcher needs some fire and it seems as though Green has found his fire.

Green is set to take on Danny Salazar on Friday as the Tigers square off against the Cleveland Indians at Comerica Park.

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