The 25-year-old showed some neat signs of encouragement in 2016.
In three starts between August 3 and August 21, against the New York Mets, Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Angels, Chad Green struck out 18 batters over 15.2 innings while only giving up four runs (2.30 ERA).
After that, however, Green gave up four home runs in his final two starts before being shut down with right elbow pain. With a healthy Green and Spring Training right around the corner, he has a shot to earn his spot in the rotation.
Last season, Green relied heavily on his fastball (39.23 percent according to Brooks Baseball) and while it has some life at 95 m.p.h., his opposition hit .295 off the pitch including an isolated power against average of .359.
This comes as no surprise.
In a scouting report conducted in 2015 by Baseball Prospectus, Tucker Blair stated that Green’s fastball “lacks the movement and deception to provide consistent value” and that it was easily barreled when he missed spots.” Kind of like here:
In the first piece of highlight, you could see Gary Sanchez place his glove towards the outside part of the plate before the pitch ran into the wheelhouse of Orioles slugger Pedro Alvarez. Next thing you know, it headed towards Eutaw Street.
Prospectus also claims that the fastball would see improvements if moved to the pen, where he can throw max effort and there was evidence last season that the shift could be a benefactor.
In 9.1 innings in relief, Green notched a save, finished four total games and did not allow a single earned run while averaging 2.2 innings per appearance.
In that span, the righty used his fastball a whopping 50.96 percent of the time and induced an isolated power against of zero. Perhaps a long-relief role could suit Green, and the Yankees, much greater.