After posting a heavily inflated 16.43 ERA in his first 10 appearances of the 2019 campaign, Chad Green quickly went from one baseball’s best relievers to taking a trip down to Triple-A to try and rediscover his mechanics. Fortunately, the 27-year-old took the news in humble fashion and would return to the big leagues just 18 days later.
“I knew something had to give. I knew I had to work on stuff and this is a tough place to do that.” Green said on his demotion.
Now, in the middle of July, Green finds his ERA at a much lower, however, still high 5.35 but don’t be fooled — he’s been one of manager Aaron Boone’s most reliable arms out of the ‘pen since returning May 12. Over 13 relief and seven “opener” appearances after being recalled, Green has posted a 2.08 ERA/2.17 FIP and a K/9 of 13.5 which would be the best mark of this career. When serving solely as the club’s opener, Green own’s a 2.53 ERA.
Chad Green’s last 15 appearances:
20.1 IP, 0.89 ERA, 33 K
— Dan Rourke (@DanAlanRourke) July 15, 2019
“It’s just going out there and making pitches,” Green said regarding opening. “It’s not any different from pitching in the sixth, besides that you’re the first one out there.”
The opener has been one of analytical baseball’s latest phenomena over the past couple seasons and Chad Green has certainly helped introduce it to the Bronx. However, throwing the first pitch of the game is nothing new for Green as he came up as a starter and even competed with Luis Severino, Jordan Montgomery, and others for a spot in the starting rotation back in 2017.
After being edged out by Severino and Montgomery in Spring Training, Green was demoted to Triple-A Scranton but would be recalled a little over a month later to give the Yankees depth out of the bullpen. Little did Green and the Yankees know it would result in him becoming one of the most dominant relievers the 2017 MLB season would see.
The right-hander went on to finish with a dazzling 1.83 ERA/1.75 FIP and a 13.43 K/9 over 69 innings that year, establishing himself as one of the game’s most elite relievers. One season later, not too much changed. Green’s numbers took a slight regression as one would expect after the unreal 2017 season he posted but overall had another very solid campaign in 2018 for the Yankees, pitching to a 2.50 ERA/2.86 FIP with an 11.18 K/9.
With two seasons of dominant relief under his belt, the rough start he got off to the 2019 season was certainly alarming. Nevertheless, Chad Green seems to be more than back to form. With a 0.89 ERA in his last 20.1 innings, it’s safe to say the Yankees have their guy back.