MOOSIC, Pa. – Chad Green‘s struggles this season have been frustrating. Mainly because he feels healthy and nothing really felt wrong.
So when he was sent down to Triple-A on April 24, Green took the full 72 hours to report to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. This gave him a chance to clear his head and really take a look into what was causing him to collect 16.43 ERA in 10 outings with the New York Yankees this season.
And when Green took to the mound for the RailRiders for the first time on Monday, he looked like a new pitcher. The 27-year-old reliever pitched two no-hit innings against the Rochester Red Wings, walking just one batter while striking out five.
“I think it’s just a step in the right direction,” Green said on Tuesday. “Just working on some things mechanically. Moving better down the mound. It was definitely a step in the right direction, for sure.”
The RailRIders catcher even went as far to say that what Green was throwing on Monday could have gotten any batter out, no matter the level.
“His fastball definitely played up,” Lavarnway said. “Four-seam spin rate got above every barrel that he threw it through. He had good command with his slider, as well.”
“The stuff that (RailRiders pitching coach Tommy Phelps and Yankees pitching coordinator Danny Borrell) have been working on really seemed to have paid off,” added Bell. “Really was an extraordinary outing.”
Film study has played a major role in Green’s comeback.
The right-handed reliever decided to “throw up some side-by-sides and see what was going on.” It was then that he noticed the way he was moving on the mound was off. Specifically his balance and direction. Green also saw himself trying to overthrow at times.
One noticeable change in Green’s delivery on Monday was his hand placement at the start of his windup. Instead of keeping his hands at his belt, they were at his face on Monday.
“That was just part of it. Just something I talked about with Phelps,” Green said. “We decided to make that change and it worked well yesterday and I got some good results from it. We’ll just continue to build off of that and we’ll see where it goes.”
While this demotion has been an adjustment, it’s nothing Green feels he can’t overcome.
For now, he’s just focusing on putting his work in and bettering himself so he’s ready for the next time the Yankees call his name.
“If you play this game long enough, you’re going to go through something,” Green said. “It’s just, kind of stepping away from a few days, kind of regathering and resetting and coming out here with a plan to work on things. Just trying to put in the work every day to get back there.”
Green’s next appearance with the RailRiders is scheduled for Friday’s series opener against the Syracuse Mets. He’s expected to be an opener again, likely pitching two innings.
Friday’s outing presents a tough task. The Mets boast a lineup full of big-league experience, including two-time All-Star Carlos Gomez.
“Just be more comfortable with those changes that I’ve made. Just be more comfortable out there,” Green said of what he wants to work on Friday. “Just getting more reps, honestly. I feel good. I think it’s just getting more reps at this point.”