New York Yankees: Why Chad Green makes more sense as a traditional reliever

The New York Yankees sure have a very good bullpen, even though they lost one of the most dominant relievers of the last five years in Dellin Betances. They have Tommy Kahnle, Adam Ottavino, Zack Britton, Aroldis Chapman and other high-upside arms. However, they do have one wild card: Chad Green.

Green has a career 3.16 ERA in 259.1 frames. He was dominant as recently as 2018, when he finished with a 2.50 ERA and 11.18 K/9 in 75.2 innings. However, he had a nightmarish start of the season in 2019.

He was sent to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in late April because of a 16.43 ERA in his first 10 relief outings. In 7 ²/₃ innings, Green allowed 15 hits (four homers) and hitters had a ghastly .395 against him.

After a couple of weeks ironing things out in the minors, the New York Yankees’ hard-throwing righty returned to his 2018 form, posting a 2.64 ERA in 44 games (15 starts) and working 61 ¹/₃ innings with a .223 average against. He registered a .653 OPS against and whiffed 91 batters with only 15 walks.

The Yankees can afford to have him as a traditional bullpen arm

Now that the Yankees have some depth in the rotation – despite losing Luis Severino to injury and Domingo German to suspension, they still have Gerrit Cole, Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, J.A. Happ, Jordan Montgomery, Jonathan Loaisiga, Luis Cessa, Deivi Garcia, Mike King and Clarke Schmidt – he probably won’t be needed as an opener. He can focus on his reliever role and routine.

A talent evaluator told George King III of the New York Post that he believes Green is good enough to close in another team, but he recommended against making him start games. “Not make him an opener,” he said of Green.

He didn’t do particularly badly as an opener, with a 3.72 ERA. However, he was a better traditional reliever, and the memory of Yuli Gurriel’s three-run homer in the first inning of last season’s ALCS Game Six is still lingering.

Making Green a traditional reliever seems the way to go for the New York Yankees. They would be reinforcing a strength. “They have a lot of options late and that give guys breathers which is something not a lot of teams have,’’ the scout said.

New York Yankees Player Profiles: Chad Green, Boone’s ace in the hole!

The New York Yankees are lucky that Howard and Sheena Green had two baby boys on May 24, 1991. One of them was Chad Green, his middle name is Keith, and he has a twin brother named Chase. He also has a sister Lynsie, and an older brother, Blake. Chase also played baseball in college. Chad was born in Greenville, South Carolina, but moved to Illinois with his family. Green played in Little League and continued his interest in baseball at Effingham, Illinois, high school where he was selected All-Conference, and in the senior year he made All-State.

Chad at age 19 was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 37th round of the draft but decided to attend the University of Louisville, where he played baseball for the Louisville Cardinals. He left college with the university record for the lowest ERA at 2.38. This was followed by him being selected in the eleventh round of the 2013 draft by the Detroit Tigers. He made his professional debut that year with the GCL Tigers, and after two games, was promoted to the Lakeland Flying Tigers, where he finished the year with a 3-0 record and a 3.63 ERA in 17.1 innings pitched. He continued on to the Whitecaps and Seawolves.

In December of 2015, the Tigers traded Luis Cessa and Green to the New York Yankees for Justin Wilson. He started the 2016 season with Scranton Wilkes/Barre.
The Yankees promoted Green to the major leagues on May 14, 2016. He made his major league debut on May 16. After being called up as a reliever, the Yankees shifted Green to the rotation. After four starts, the Yankees shut down Green for the season
after he suffered a sprained elbow ligament. He again started the 2017 season with The RailRiders but was quickly called up in May, Green ended the season with a 5–0 record, 1.83 ERA and 103 strikeouts in 69 innings as a reliever. He was 8-3 in 2018.

Green started the 2019 season struggling for the Yankees and was sent down to Scranton to figure things out. Since coming back, he was used as a reliever a few times, but his main job is that of an opener for the Yankees. This need was caused by the injured Luis Severino and other injured starting pitchers, to the point, they didn’t have a five-man rotation.

The opener was popular and successful with the Tampa Rays. The opener role is to start a game but only pitch an inning or two in a role similar to a closer. Then the bullpen finishes the rest of the game. The Yankees have also been successful with this opener format winning 11 of 12 starts with Chad Green as the primary opener with great success. He has appeared in 41 games allowing only 25 earned runs. He has two saves as a reliever and a season 4.69 ERA but an ERA as an opener of just 2.53.

New York Yankee Field Manager Aaron Boone prizes Green as he can use him in so many ways.  As I pointed out earlier he can be used as a starter/opener if Boone chooses to do so or someone in the normal rotation is ill or injured.  He can use him as a middle or short reliever, and can even use him to close games if necessary.  Last season he ended with an ERA of 4.17 over 69 innings pitched and he saved two games on the season.  This shortened spring training he pitched in only four games, but with an excellent 2.25 ERA.  He has great mental toughness and doesn’t get shook.  Because of his pitching versatility, he is Aaron Boone’s ace in the hole.

Chad is now 28 years old, he stands 6’3″, he weighs 210 pounds. He was married to his long time girlfriend wife Jenna in 2014. He is very private about this life. He has a dog but there is no news about offspring. Both he and his wife love traveling.  It is reported that he lives in the New York area.

EmpireSportsMedia.com’s William Parlee is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research.

How the New York Yankees will use Chad Green in 2020

New York Yankees, Chad Green

New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone had one phrase to describe bullpen arm Chad Green, and that was, “swiss army knife.”

Green featured in a bevy of roles last season, acting as an opener, a relief pitcher, and even a closer on a few occasions. His talents stretch beyond that of a standard back-end relief arm, and that’s how they plan to utilize him in 2020.

Green opened in 15 games in 2019, closed in 10, and earned two saves. His 3.16 ERA over the span of the year was impressive, considering the different hats he put on.

“Obviously we’ve used him in the opener scenarios, we’ve even toyed with the starting thing at different times,'” Boone explained. “But he can be one of our main high-leverage set-up men as well. I feel like his versatility really gives us an edge to our blend down there with all the things he can provide.”

Keeping Green healthy will be the priority moving forward, as fatigue undoubtedly settled in during the postseason last year.

“As need comes up we’ll use [him as the opener] but hopefully we’re talking about a scenario where we’ve largely stayed healthy in our rotation,” Boone further commented. “And now we can plug Greeny into a lot more different roles in the ‘pen.”

The New York Yankees are confident in their bullpen:

The current Yankees bullpen contains plenty of talent: Adam Ottavino, Tommy Kahnle, Zack Britton, Aroldis Chapman, and plenty more.

The addition of Gerrit Cole to the starting rotation gives the Yanks plenty of firepower to work through multiple innings without having to dip into the bullpen too early. One of the realities that forced the Bombers into a fatigue-ridden situation last postseason was the starters’ inability to survive for multiple innings before getting pulled.

A three-man rotation of Cole, James Paxton, and Luis Severino in the postseason will provide ample talent and innings to remains rested. Not to mention they have Masahiro Tanaka, who’s an experienced playoff pitcher, available if need be.

New York Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka feels Astros cheated them out of World Series

New York Yankees, Masahiro Tanaka

After weeks of silence from the New York Yankees players, some have begun to speak out on the Houston Astros and their cheating scandal that resulted in their firing of their manager and general manager.

Last week was Chad Green, who expressed his displeasure with the Astros for taking such malicious actions in an attempt to reach the World Series, in which they did the past two seasons, winning one of them.

The usually reserved Masahiro Tanaka, starting pitcher for the Yankees, was also frustrated over their actions, agreeing that they were likely cheated out of a World Series appearance.

“I do feel that way, yeah,” Tanaka said.

Tanaka pitched in games 1 and 5 of the ALCS, throwing six innings of two-run ball. It is believed that the Astros were cheating during the most recent postseason, which makes it even more concerning for the players.

It’s expected that more Yankees players will begin to speak out on the matter. Still, with spring training starting soon, they’re focused on preparing for the season and mitigating any injury concerns.

New York Yankees’ Chad Green opens up about Houston Astros cheating scandal

New York Yankees, Chad Green

Players across the MLB have expressed their displeasure over the Houston Astros’ cheating scandal that led to the firing of their manager and general manager. However, the New York Yankees have been rather quiet on the matter, but players are beginning to open up about the topic and express their feelings.

“I think that’s your initial reaction,” Green said Friday afternoon, via Newsday. “I think anybody would be upset about it a little bit. But you have to move forward. It’s in the past.”

Green’s responses were generally skewed towards forgetting about the entire ordeal, as the past is evidently the past. He was frustrated about the 2017 season, where the Yankees lost to the Astros in the ALCS.

“It’s obviously going to be tough, just knowing what could have been in ’17,” Green said. “But that’s a tough game to play — what could have been, what should have happened, stuff like that . . . We haven’t honestly talked about it too much. I’ve just been around [the complex] for a few days. I think everybody’s kind of moving forward. It’s kind of in the past, for the most part. But I’m sure the conversation’s going to be brought up at some point.”

For most, compromising the integrity of the game has led to anger and frustration towards a team that has cheated for years on the biggest stage. The Yankees have been directly influenced negatively because of their wrongdoings, and I’m surprised Green wasn’t more communicative of that reality.

Former New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia was more profound in his response towards Houston:

“No way you can ever tell me . . .  forever in my mind, now, we won the World Series,” Sabathia said, among other things.

I anticipate seeing more commentary from Yankees players in the coming days, especially as pitchers and catchers report to spring training in four days time.

New York Yankees 2020 Season Preview: Chad Green

New York Yankees, Chad Green

Despite an awful start to the 2019 season, New York Yankees reliever Chad Green was able to bounce back and put together a nice season.

Through April, the 28-year-old lefty from Greenville, South Carolina, had a 16.43 ERA. He went down to AAA for a while and would bounce back in a big way, lowering his ERA to 4.17 by the end of the season. While in Scranton, he worked on some off-speed stuff and worked on fastball location. His cutter is his signature pitch, and a pitch that he had trouble throwing early on.

Green finished the season 4-4 with 98 strikeouts in 69 innings pitched. He often was an opener for the Yankees and threw well there. His ERA was 3.72 in games he opened.

Green didn’t allow any runs in the 2019 ALDS against the Twins but allowed five runs in 4.2 innings against the Astros. He has a 4.74 ERA over 13 career postseason appearances, skewed by one awful appearance in 2017. Over his three postseasons, Green has been one of the Yankees’ most reliable relievers.

2020 Expectations

The expectation is that Chad Green will pitch as he did after the middle of May and beyond. Seeing how his ERA dropped over time was quite impressive, and it showed off the dominance he achieved.

Green will continue to be a high leverage middle-reliever and occasional opener. Although he thrived in that role, the Yankees only want to put him there when there are injuries, but hopefully, that won’t be something to worry about in 2020.

And of course, the Yankees need him to pitch well in the postseason again. He always looks so calm out there, and that helps him stay in control of the game.

Hopefully, Chad Green can avoid a bad start like in 2019 and have a career year in 2020.

New York Yankees targeting top relief pitcher in potential trade

New York Yankees, Josha Hader

The most prominent deal of the 2020 offseason was undoubtedly the New York Yankees and Gerrit Cole inking a nine-year, $324 million. The hot stove has calmed in recent days, though, before the Jays landed Hyun-jin Ryu in a four-year, $80 million deal. However, with GM Brian Cashman quietly waiting for his opportunity to pounce, one can never remain complacent during these tumultuous times.

The latest speculation revolves around Milwaukee Brewers’ Josh Hader, who the Yankees have been linked to for weeks now. The star relief arm has made himself an attractive trade target, and the Bombers have plenty of youth capital to part with if the Brewers are willing to give him up in a deal.

MLB Insider Jon Heyman stated:

“Yankees remain interested in Josh Hader and could begin a package with 3B Miguel Andujar (Brewers don’t really have a set 3B),” Heyman tweeted. “Interested teams still aren’t totally convinced Milwaukee would move the star closer though.”

There’s precedent for a deal between the two sides, especially if Andujar is on the table and possibly Clint Frazier. Hader, 25, has only spent three seasons in the big leagues and has four years of team control left on his deal. He has been stellar in short a short period, owning a combined 2.42 ERA, 178 ERA+, 15.3 SO/9, 4.85 SO/BB, and a 2.73 FIP.

Adding him to a bullpen with Zack Britton, Chad Green, and Aroldis Chapman would not only give the Yankees a stellar back-end pitcher, but it would take the pressure off the starting rotation, mitigating fatigue and injury concerns.

The New York Yankees would have to part with a potential star:

The downside to this tentative deal would be the loss of Andujar, who logged 27 HR, 47 doubles, and a .855 OPS in his rookie season. At just 24-years-old, Andujar has plenty of time to reach his potential and find his preferred defensive spot. His issues at third base are apparent, but the Yankees haven’t ruled out moving him to a different place to supplement his deficiencies on the hot corner.

New York Yankees reportedly interested in Royals LHP Tim Hill

New York Yankees have potential interest in Royals pitcher, Tim Hill.

The New York Yankees and GM Brian Cashman have been engaged in the free-agent market since the end of the postseason, making numerous comments advocating for a strong class of players, especially in regards to starting pitchers. However, the Bombers could execute trades to supplement the weaknesses on the roster.

Reports have indicated that the Yankees could be engaged in a potential trade with the Kansas City Royals for left-handed pitcher, Tim Hill.

Hill is drawing interest from around the league, but the Yankees, who could let Dellin Betances walk this season after suffering a torn Achilles tendon on his September 15 debut, will need to find a replacement. The Royal isn’t eligible for arbitration until 2020, giving the team four years of control, which would benefit the Bombers in a trade situation; however, it might drive up his price-tag.

 How would Tim Hill benefit the New York Yankees?

The lefty is only turning 30-years-old next February and has a 3.63 ERA/1.109 WHIP and 39 Ks in 39.2 IP over 46 games last season (baseball-reference). He’s incredibly strong against lefty hitters, holding them to a .465 OPS and one extra-base hit in 65 plate appearances in 2019. He’s solid against righties too, holding them to a .755 OPS.

While Hill isn’t at Betances’ level, he’s competent in situational circumstances, especially against lefties.

With only two seasons of professional baseball under his belt, Hill is still young and developing at the top level. The Yankees might have to part with a prospect and cash considerations to pry him from Kansas City, but his services and control make him valuable.

Adding him to a bullpen consisting of Adam Ottavino, Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, Luis Cessa, Zack Britton, Tommy Kahnle, and Jonathan Holder would be beneficial, and youngsters Deivi Garcia and Michael King could both be used as relief arms as well. Again, this is contingent on Cashman letting Betances walk in free agency.

Why the New York Yankees had to replace Larry Rothschild

New York Yankees, Larry Rothschild

Much has been made of Larry Rothschild’s dismissal from the New York Yankees. He is heralded as one of the best pitching coaches in baseball, so why would he get the pink slip?

Simple. Because he wasn’t as good as you thought he was.

Look at it from this perspective, in the NFL, when the offense is struggling, the offensive coordinator is first to go over the head coach. So just HOW good was Larry Rothschild in the eight seasons he’s been the Yankees’ pitching coach?

Pitching coaches are meant to help the whole pitching staff, and our team pitching staff was mediocre at best. According to ESPN,  the team ERA for the New York Yankees last season was 4.31. This includes the “best bullpen in baseball.” That put Yankees pitching 14th in baseball. The Mets had a better team ERA than we did. We’re the Yankees! We’re supposed to be the best team in baseball! Our pitchers had the 11th best batting average against, sitting at just shy of .250. Do you know how bad the Cincinnati Reds were? They were the 5th worst team in the National League. Their pitching staff’s BAA was sitting at .235 compared to our .248. Cincinnati finished fourth in all of baseball in this category, and they missed the playoffs! The Yankees’ staff gave up 739 runs, and 691 of those runs were earned runs. The Mets pitching staff gave up fewer runs and fewer earned runs. Our rotation also had a combined WHIP that was tied for the San Francisco Giants, a team that finished 15 games under .500.

What I think is most telling are the number of quality starts, and innings pitched the Yankees staff threw in 2019. Yankees were 18th in baseball in regards to quality starts. Our pitching staff was also 14th in total innings pitched for the season. A common trope about the Yankees when the ALCS ended was, “You can’t expect your team to win when your bullpen is forced to get 15-18 outs a game”. 

Tanaka averaged just shy of 6 innings a game in 2019. Happ, at 161 innings pitched, averaged a half-inning fewer than Tanaka. Paxton, who started two fewer games than Happ, through 11 fewer innings than Happ. German, one of the league leaders in wins, threw 143.

Even with him missing his last 3-5 starts, he still pitched the deepest into games out of the other 3. And we all saw what CC could and couldn’t do. His injuries limited him to 107 innings, limiting him to 4.5 innings pitched per appearance. (baseball-reference.com). This is not a great starting pitching staff.

The more the bullpen needs to be used, the less effective they become. It happened to Ottavino at the worst possible time. Chad Green had to become a starter to figure out what was wrong with him this season? He still finished with an EAR above 4. Tommy Kahnle still had an ERA above 3.50, which isn’t particularly proficient for a relief pitcher. 

Our bullpen has been overworked, and our starting pitchers aren’t getting us deep into games. If you use your eyes, this has been the case for Rothschild as pitching coach for the last 3-5 seasons. I mean, hell, how long did Sonny Grey last per start as a Yankee? Something has to give with our pitching staff as a whole. It had to start with Larry Rothschild. Statistics and eye tests don’t lie. Rothschild had to go. It was time.

New York Yankees: Aaron Boone mistake costs Yankees game 2 of ALCS

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone

The New York Yankees fell to the Houston Astros 3-2 in the 11th inning on Sunday night in game two of the ALCS. The Bombers started off the contest with a Judgian blast, which gave them a 2-1 lead; however, right fielder for the Astros, George Springer, took advantage of a bad Aaron Boone mistake.

After starter James Paxton was pulled from the game after just 2.1 innings, relief option Chad Green dominated for two innings, allowing zero walks and striking out two batters. Boone elected to pull him in the fourth inning with two outs in favor of Adam Ottavino, who was stellar during the regular season.

The very first pitch Ottavino threw resulted in a long home run that tied the game at two apiece. Faulting Boone for this consequence of changing pitchers is an easy excuse, but the lack of offense was the primary cause of the unfortunate loss.

The New York Yankees offense was awful in game two:

Catcher Gary Sanchez went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts, not to mention Edwin Encarnacion and Brett Gardner’s combined five strikeouts. The middle of the order accounted for eight of twelve Ks on the night, an unacceptable rate that must change if the Yankees are to take back the lead at home in the Bronx.

The Yankees will face off against Gerrit Cole in game three on Tuesday afternoon, and that might be the biggest challenge yet in their quest to reach the World Series. Cole had a 2.50 ERA during the regular season, and during the playoffs, he is sitting at 0.57 over two starts. He has only allowed six hits over 15.2 innings. Beating him will require a much better effort from the offense, and Yankees ace Luis Severino will need to match his quality at home.

Ultimately, it will likely boil down to the bullpen and which unit can weather the storm better. The Bombers did a decent job in game two, but pitching is only half of the battle.