Potential Twins Bullpen Target: Shane Greene, RHP, Tigers
Image courtesy of © Raj Mehta-USA TODAY SportsShane Greene, RHP, 30-years-old
Detroit Tigers (26-50, 5th in AL Central)
Under team control via arbitration through 2020
2019: 0.90 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 9.0 K/9, 2.7 BB/9 in 30 IP
2018: 5.12 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 9.2 K/9, 2.7 BB/9 in 63.1 IP
Greene has a fascinating and up and down resume since breaking into the majors with the Tigers in 2016. He’s operated on an ‘even year bad, odd year great’ mode in his time with Detroit. Luckily for Greene, this is an odd year.
Green was originally drafted by the New York Yankees in the 15th round of the 2009 draft. He was acquired by Detroit in a three-team trade that saw Robbie Ray head to the Diamondbacks and Didi Gregorious shift to the Yankees. Greene is earning a reasonable $4 million this season, and is under team control via arbitration through the end of the 2020 season.
What’s to Like?
Greene is essentially a three-pitch pitcher. He throws a 93 mph sinker (45%), an 88 mph cutter (28%), and an 81 mph slider (21% - a few miscellaneous pitches make up his remaining mix). Despite having very up and down numbers, there is lots to like about the consistency present in Greene’s peripherals.
In his last two seasons of work, Greene has maintained a K/9 of at least 9.00 and a BB/9 of less than 3.00. Additionally, Greene has average a GB% of 46% over the last two seasons (it’s up 12% this year and a big reason for his success in 2019).
There are a ton of indicators that Greene may be due for some regression in the near future. His 0.93 ERA is paired with a 3.56 FIP and 4.16 xFIP, in addition to an unsustainable .181 BaBIP. His BaBIP throughout his career has varied wildly and is supported this year by an almost elite ground ball rate. Greene’s 2019 .217 wOBA is in the top 2% of all pitchers, an increase in the usage of his cutter has supported this. In 2019, the pitch has generated an xBA (expected batting average) of just .143. It’s likely that Greene continues to pitch effectively and put up effective numbers in 2019.
Greene would be a solid upgrade for the Twins bullpen but only as part of a two pitcher upgrade. He would give the Twins a controllable, solid high leverage arm but does not have the ceiling of Taylor Rogers and is not likely to continue to put up his gaudy 2019 numbers.
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