Detroit Tigers: Three More Breakout Candidates for the 2017 Season

Apr 5, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Shane Greene (61) celebrates with Tigers catcher James McCann (34) after defeating the Miami Marlins 8-7 at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 5, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Shane Greene (61) celebrates with Tigers catcher James McCann (34) after defeating the Miami Marlins 8-7 at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
4 of 4
Next
Detroit Tigers
Apr 24, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Shane Greene (61) prepares to deliver a pitch against the Cleveland Indians in the first inning at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

Shane Greene
Age: 28
Position: Relief Pitcher

Early in last season, Greene showed flashes of being an effective setup reliever.

The former Yankee turned in a .278 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 22.2 innings out of the bullpen in June and July. Additionally, the same stretch saw the pitcher hold opposing batters to a .200 batting average and a .499 OPS.

However, there were also times when Greene struggled mightily.

Over his final 17 appearances, the reliever pitched to a 10.00 ERA in 18 innings. In the process, he allowed 27 hits, 20 runs, seven walks and a pair of home runs.

Despite the up-and-down season, there’s reason to believe the 26-year-old can break out in 2017.

Greene posted the highest WAR among relief pitchers with a 1.2 number.

That WAR finished fourth overall on the pitching staff, coming in only behind Justin Verlander, Michael Fulmer and Jordan Zimmermann.

The former 12th-round pick should also continue to miss bats next season. Greene turned in the second-highest swinging-strike percentage on the team at 12.7%.

If he can post a similar number next season, the reliever could very well improve on his 8.8 strikeouts per nine innings while also limiting base runners.

Next: The Next Wave of Top Tigers Prospects

What’s more, a solid defense could also help Greene thrive. Last year, the veteran finished with the lowest FIP (2.96) of all Detroit Tigers relievers.