MLB Player Profile: Shane Greene
In June 2009, the New York Yankees drafted a young right-handed pitcher who had just finished rehabbing from Tommy John Surgery. At the time, the then twenty-year old Shane Greene had a lot to prove to those who doubted him. He had received a scholarship to play at the University of West Florida but when he was diagnosed with an elbow injury that led to surgery, his scholarship was revoked, leaving him to figure out what was next.
When the Yankees drafted Greene he was attending Daytona Community College (now known as Daytona State). After being drafted his fastball hit the mid-90s which impressed Yankees’ scouts. His first season of pro ball was in 2009 when he played thirteen games in the Gulf Coast League shortly after signing, none of which were starts. He went 1-2 with a 5.87 ERA.
In 2010 he split the season, spending time with the Staten Island Yankees and the Low A Charleston RiverDogs. He had a combined record of 2-8 and a 4.59 ERA in fourteen starts that season. Although he wasn’t dominant he showed promise as he spent his first full season of professional ball in 2011 with the RiverDogs. He went 5-14 as a starter with a 4.37 ERA, although his record didn’t show a vast improvement his ERA continued to decrease and he began using his pitches to make hitters swing and miss more frequently.
He continued his journey through the Yankees’ organization as he started the 2012 season with the High-A Tampa Yankees. With the T-Yanks he started 24 games with a 5.22 ERA. But, it would be 2013 that would become his breakout year as a Yankee prospect.
Greene once again started the 2013 season with the T-Yanks and in his thirteen starts with the team he was 4-6 with a 3.60 ERA and made the Florida State League All-Star Game roster before receiving the promotion to Double-A Trenton. He built off that momentum gained in Tampa and, in Trenton went 8-4 with a 3.18 ERA and helped lead the Thunder to an Eastern League Title.
His strong run in 2013 led the Yankees to add him to the 40-Man Roster and naming him the New York Yankees’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year for 2013 by receiving the Kevin Lawn Award. He was invited to the Yankees’ 2014 Spring Training and was one of the last minor leaguers to be designated; at the end of camp he was promoted to Triple-A Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre.
On April 24, 2014, the Clermont, Florida native, made his Major League debut in a relief appearance for the Yankees at Fenway Park in Boston. Although his debut lasted less than an inning, Greene showed that he was ready to be a big leaguer. New York would then send him back to Triple-A Scranton to get some starts under his belt. He went on to go 5-2 with a 5.32 ERA in thirteen starts and would then be promoted to the Bronx in early July when starter Vidal Nuno was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks. His 2014 campaign was a strong one which he came out with a 5-4 record and 3.78 ERA while striking out 81 batters in 78.2 innings. The Yankees seemed pleased with the potential out of their young righty and what he could bring to the team in the future, or so everyone was to believe.
Shane Greene was traded on December 5, 2014 as part of a three team trade that sent him to the Detroit Tigers, shortstop Didi Gregorius to the Yankees and Robbie Ray and Domingo Leyba to the Diamondbacks.
He became the Tigers’ fifth starter out of 2015 camp and with lingering injuries among the team’s rotation was a solid starting option at the beginning of the season. His first three starts for Detroit were nearly flawless as he went 3-0 with just a 0.39 ERA which included just one earned run. In May he would leave a start against the St. Louis Cardinals, early because of numbness in his fingers. Although the occurrence seemed to be temporary, Greene’s struggles on the mound started stacking up.
He would go on to allow sixteen runs and 21 hits in just nine innings in three combined starts which would force the Tigers to assign him to Triple-A Toledo in June. He would pitch rather well with Toledo allowing him to go back to Detroit but more struggles cost him a rotation spot. The Tigers decided to try the bullpen for Greene which he did make relief appearances and fared well. After being sent back to Toledo, Greene once again had numbness in his right hand.
The injury would turn out to be more serious than previously expected, a pseudoaneurysm in his throwing hand and had to undergo surgery to fix the circumflex artery on August 27, ending his 2015 season; he ended 2015 with a 4-8 record along with a 6.88 ERA.
So, what’s next for Greene? Reports out of Tigers’ camp say that he has done his offseason training without any lingering issues from the injury or surgery and that he is right on track to start camp with the team when pitchers and catchers report on February 18. If the twenty-seven year old doesn’t secure a starting rotation spot, he could land in the Tigers’ bullpen as a reliever and also be ready to start if a situation arises.