Article contributed by guest poster Jan Stevens
With the departure of Max Scherzer and the uncertainty of Justin Verlander, many people around baseball thought that the pitching rotation for the Detroit Tigers would take a big hit in 2015. Sure, they still had David Price as the ace, but after him, there were some question marks with holdover Anibal Sanchez coming off an injury and newcomers Shane Greene and Alfredo Simon in the back of the rotation. So far, Greene has impressed fantasy owners with a strong start for the Tigers. It is still extremely early in the year, but he could help keep the Tigers in the driver’s seat in the American League Central.
By baseball standards, the 26-year-old Greene is a bit of a late bloomer. He was not highly regarded coming out of high school, and he even lost his college scholarship when he had to go under the knife for Tommy John surgery. It took him five years in the minor leagues before he was finally given a chance to make his debut last year for the New York Yankees. He had decent numbers for New York last year, but he was still a very trade-able piece over the winter. Detroit was able to land the right-handed pitcher, and he started 2015 in the rotation.
Greene has only made two starts so far this year in the regular season, but he certainly made a pretty impressive impression on his new teammates. He threw 8 innings in each start for Detroit allowing only 8 baserunners in 16 innings. The only run he gave up was unearned, and most of all he was very confident on the mound the entire time. This is a bit of a shocker to some, as he was a mediocre minor league pitcher and still relatively raw at the highest level.
Despite numbers that didn’t exactly jump out to people in daily fantasy baseball last year, he showed potential with a 92-94 fastball, a plus slider and improving control. He had a solid spring training, and it has carried over so far. There is a long season ahead, but the Detroit Tigers are feeling pretty happy about their low risk investment over the winter. If he can be a solid middle of the rotation guy, Detroit will be more than satisfied.