If you made it big in the restaurant business, you got a Chef’s Table.
At Fantasy Alarm we have one too. Expect here you don’t need a reservation. Or a fat stack to pay for it.
The best part about the Chef’s Table is that you get to watch the preparation of your food from start to finish. Seeing every intricate detail that goes into your dish while enjoying the company of family and friends. Well, that’s what I’m gonna give you here.
Each week I will profile a player based on increased street cred throughout the industry. Whether because of a recent hot streak, increased playing time or a promotion because of an injury. From there I will break down the recipe for that player’s success and determine if he is just a flash in the pan or someone who is gonna bring home the bacon.
If there is a team in baseball that can say they have been through it all this season it is the New York Yankees. With only one pitcher left in their starting rotation from Opening Day, Hiroki Kuroda, the Bronx Bombers have been doing whatever they can to fill in the gaps. Not only has the addition of Brandon McCarthy caught the eye of those in fantasy baseball circles, but the emergence of the newest Yankees Shane Greene.
After making one appearance in late April out of the bullpen allowing three unearned runs on three walks over 0.1 innings, the Yankees sent Greene back to the minor leagues where he could refine his arsenal, and early on it appears to have paid dividends. Through his first two big league starts, Greene was 2-0 with a 1.32 ERA, allowing just two walks while fanning 11 batters over 13.1 innings showing the ability to command both his fastball and slider with relative ease while being deceptive in his delivery. However, his most recent trip to the mound things did not go as planned.
Going up against baseball’s worst team, the Texas Rangers, Greene looked out of sorts on the mound, but managed to allow just one run through the first five innings, although being charged with not one, not two, but three errors. In the end he allowed four runs on five hits and one walk while striking out one batter, but going over 100 pitches with one out in the fifth inning should have been the cue for manager Joe Girardi to end his day, before three more runs crossed home.
Now that we have seen both the good side and the bade side of Greene it makes it a little easier to determine if he is in fact going to be a fantasy asset moving forward. For the positives, his fastball hovers around 92-94 MPH consistently, even when he gets up in the pitch count. His slide is straight up nasty, with a big-time break at the tail end that is devastating for right-handed hitters. To add to his two solid pitches, Greene’s delivery is deceptive, as he tucks his left arm back as he goes back into his throwing motion. Because he relies on his slider and moving fastball so much, he has been able to limit his home runs allowed, serving up only four home runs through 85.2 total innings in 2014. And last but not least, the guy has shown some reliance. It isn’t everyday that a pitcher commits three errors in a game and is able to out it behind him to finish without a major disaster.
Just like any young pitcher there is going to be things that need some work. For starters, Greene was rather ineffective in the minor leagues, owning a 4.61 ERA and 1.58 WHIP through 66.1 innings with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, averaging 3.5 walks per nine innings pitched. He has just 19.1 MLB innings under his belt, so there is no telling whether or not the Greene we saw on Monday is the player we should expect to see the rest of the way, similar to the recent drop off in production from Chase Whitley. But the biggest question involving Greene’s value lies in what the Yankees have planned over the next week of the season.
With the trade deadline quickly approaching, the Yankees are gearing up to improve there starting rotation. General Manager Brian Cashman has been recently quoted saying, “I have to reinforce our pitching, in my opinion.” Not only does this mean that he is going to aggressively shop for starting pitching depth, but it could in fact land Greene in a new city by the end of next week. Whether or not Greene is going to be involved in trade talks is anyone’s guess, but ending up on a team with a poorer offense certainly wouldn’t help his case in terms of fantasy.
All leagues are different and searching for starting pitchers on the waiver wire for spot starts can be deadly at times, ending up in failure more times than not. As far as Greene is concerned it would be wise to proceed with caution until we see how he performs following his first rough start of his young career. Keep in mind he has logged just 19.1 big league innings up to this point and has shown nothing in minors that suggest he would be able to hold onto a starting rotation spot long term.
Those that are daring, hopefully only in deep mixed leagues or AL-only formats, can give him a shot, considering he does keep the ball down enough to limit any damage done in the hitter-friendly AL East, but don’t say I told you so if he doesn’t pan out. Sometimes you have to take chances in order to win big, but this chance just doesn’t seem worth it, especially if giving up a solid low-end starting with even the slightest bit of upside until he shows us more.
Until next time, study hard and eat plenty!