In 2009, Greene signed with the Yankees (see Transactions below).
In 2014, Baseball America rated Shane as the 16th-best prospect in the Yankees organization.
In 2013, Shane won the Kevin Lawn Award as the Yankees' Minor League Pitcher of the Year.
When Shane got the call to the big leagues, he was already on the phone. Even though he didn't recognize the number, he put his parents on hold and accepted the second call. Good thing, too, as the voice on the other line belonged to the Yankees' senior vice president of baseball operations, Mark Newman, who told Greene he'd be joining the Major League club from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on April 9, 2014.
"When I clicked back over, I told [my parents] the news," Greene said. Even though it was a "dream come true," he said, his parents "were a little bit more emotional than I was." (Lemire - mlb.com - 4/9/2014)
After blood circulation issues led to surgery in 2015, Shane has operated under a different normal. The fingers on his right hand will go cold or numb once in a while
"People ask me all the time: Can I tell a difference? Or, is it affecting me? I have no idea," Greene said in February 2017. "I don't remember what it feels like to have normal fingers. This is the way it is, and this is what it's going to be. So I deal with it."
Greene knows what to expect with his fingers. He said earlier that he doesn't realize when his fingers go cold because he has grown accustomed to it. He doesn't panic if they do.
"They're getting better every day, I think," he said in May 2017. "They're not getting worse. They're either staying the same or they're getting better." (Beck - mlb.com - 3/22/2017)
July 2019: Greene represented the Tigers in the All-Star Game.
Closers tend to have unique personalities. In that sense, Shane is no different than a lot of closers around the league, introspective to a high degree. In terms of how he came to be an All-Star closer, however, he’s unique.
“I've tried to explain it before by saying the light bulb in the middle of the room shines light on everything except for itself, so the light bulb will never truly understand what the light is,” Greene said. “So I'll never be able to truly comprehend what I've accomplished and what I'm doing in my life because I'm living it. However, my family and friends do.”
Not only was Greene not a high Draft pick or top prospect, he was barely noticed pitching in school. He’s one of two Major Leaguers ever to come out of Daytona Beach Community College, where he enrolled after Tommy John surgery cost him a spot at the University of West Florida in his freshman season. He was still recovering from surgery at Daytona. Still, he impressed Yankee scouts enough with a mid-90s fastball to earn a 15th-round pick in the 2009 MLB Draft.
Greene didn’t dominate in the Minors but showed steady improvement to keep moving up, despite a 4.29 ERA and 1.465 WHIP over six Minor League seasons. He did enough that when the Yankees needed pitching help in 2014, they called up Greene—once as a spot reliever, then in midseason as a starter.
In his sixth Major League start, he tossed eight scoreless innings against a stacked Tigers lineup and outpitched then-Tiger Rick Porcello for a 1-0 win. Three weeks later, he went to Comerica Park and beat them again with seven strong innings and eight strikeouts.
Greene impressed the Tigers enough that they traded for him in the 2014 offseason, giving up Robbie Ray and an infield prospect in a three-team deal. He won his first three starts as a Tiger, allowing one earned run over 23 innings, and seemed poised for stardom.
He threw two quality starts the rest of the season. By mid-June 2015, he was optioned to Triple-A Toledo. By mid-August, he was on the injured list with a vascular condition in his right hand. An aneurysm in his shoulder was causing blood clots to travel to his hand, cutting off blood to two fingers and leading to numbness, a condition he still handles to this day.
Greene found the right treatment to return in the spring of 2016 and win a rotation spot before a blister shelved him again. This time, the Tigers called up a young pitcher in Michael Fulmer to take his place. Fulmer won AL Rookie of the Year honors. Greene won a spot in the bullpen when he returned in June. The adrenaline rush fit him.
“Once I was in the bullpen, my goal was to be a closer and to be one of the best,” Greene said. “I don't work to be mediocre. If you're just trying to be mediocre, you're not going to be here long. It's about striving for being the best and never settling and never getting content with what you're doing. But the good thing about the game of baseball is that it will remind you real quickly when you think you've got it figured out. It'll remind you that you don't.”
After so many times warming up in the visiting bullpen at Progressive Field, he’s ready to use the home one for the All-Star game. “It's cliché to say treat it like any other game, which is what I'm going to do as far as my routine and whatnot, but I'm sure it'll be a little bit different feeling running out that gate,” Greene said. (Beck - mlb.com - 7/8/2019)
July 9, 2019: Tigers closer Shane Greene has no idea what kind of role he’ll be filling after the Trade Deadline at the end of July. For the All-Star Game, his role was that of a seventh-inning setup man. He handled it perfectly, protecting a one-run lead in the American League's 4-3 win over the National League thanks to some help from a former teammate.
Greene pitched to James McCann for most of the right-hander's first three seasons in Detroit, until the Tigers parted ways with the catcher last winter. Both made it to Cleveland for their first Midsummer Classic, where they were reunited for an inning—Greene representing the Tigers, McCann one of three representatives for the White Sox.
Both had a long road to make it.
“I had a pretty hard road getting here. I made it here,” Greene said before the game. “It doesn’t really matter how we got here. We all got here, and that’s something we can enjoy together.”
Greene settled in quickly by inducing a first-pitch flyout from former AL Central nemesis Mike Moustakas. He went to a full count against J.T. Realmuto before retiring him on a pop out to first base, then retired Max Muncy on a groundout to shortstop.
Before the 2019 All-Star Game, Greene listened to his former Yankees teammate CC Sabathia give a speech to the AL team. The message, Greene said, was to enjoy it, because it goes quickly.
“It was amazing,” Greene said. “He’s someone we can all respect, and for him to talk, he took the floor and everybody listened.
“I had the time of my life,” Greene said. “Obviously, it’s a dream come true for me. I made my first big league starts here, so I already have a special place in my heart for this stadium. And for my first All-Star Game to be here, it’s pretty special.” (J Beck - MLB.com - July 10, 2019)
June 2009: The Yankees chose Green in the 15th round, out of Daytona Beach Community College in Florida. Greene signed for a bonus of $100,000 via scout Jeff Deardorf.
December 5, 2014: In a three-team trade, the Yankees acquired Didi Gregorius from the Diamondbacks. Greene went from the Yankees to the Tigers. And the D-backs received pitcher Robbie Ray and minor league infielder Domingo Leyba from the Tigers.
January 12, 2018: Greene and the Tigers avoided arbitration, agreeing on a one-year deal for $1.95 million.
January 11, 2019: Greene and the Tigers avoided arbitration, agreeing on a one-year deal for $4 million.
July 31, 2019: The Tigers traded Greene to the Braves for LHP Joey Wentz and LF Travis Demeritte.
- Feb 5, 2020: Shane lost his arbitration case with the Braves, receiving $6.2 million versus the $6.7 million he was asking.
- Oct 28, 2020: RHP Shane Greene elected free agency.
|Birth City:||Clermont, FL|
|Draft:||Yankees #15 - 2009 - Out of Daytona Beach C.C. (FL)|
Greene has a 93-96 mph 4-seam FASTBALL. He also has a 91-95 mph two-seam SINKER with good angle from his crossfire delivery. He also has an 88-91 mph CUTTER, a plus 82-85 mph SLIDER, and a rarely used CURVEBALL.
2016 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 11.7% of the time; Sinker 29.1% of the time; Change .7%; Slider 20.7%; and Cutter 37.7% of the time.
2017 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 5% of the time; Sinker 51.3% of the time; Slider 27.9%; Curve 1.3%; and Cutter 14.6% of the time.
2018 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball 5.7% of the time, his Sinker 45.1%; Slider 25.2%; and Cutter 24% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 95.6 mph, Sinker 94.7, Slider 81.7, and Cutter 88.7 mph.
2019 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball 2% of the time, his Sinker 44.3%; Change less than 1%; Slider 21.6%; and Cutter 31.5% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 94.2 mph, Sinker 92.8, Change 85.7, Slider 80.4, and Cutter 87.9 mph.
2020 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball 1.1% of the time, his Sinker 38.7%; Change 13.6%; Slider 21.8%; and Cutter 24.7% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 93.5 mph, Sinker 92.4, Change 86.3, Slider 80.6, and Cutter 87.5 mph.
Shane had real problems with his control until 2013. "We always liked his stuff but his walk ratio was 5.1 per nine innings (in 2012),” Yankees farm director Mark Newman said in 2013. “He started in the same league this year that he finished in last year (FSL) and his walks went down from 5.1 to 1.7 per nine innings. We have never had anybody make that type of improvement.”
It was an adjustment Greene made while working with pitching coordinator Gil Patterson and Greg Pavlick, a senior pitching instructor, that helped him turn the corner and be more on-line to the plate.
“He was helped with the delivery where he kept his head more in line with the plate,” Newman said. “He made a commitment to throw strikes and not throw the ball to the edge and nibble.”
Greene is a quick worker, and has some inherent deception in his delivery that makes his pitches hard to pick up for hitters.
Greene turned things around in a huge way in 2013. "I went into the season with a couple of small goals that I knew if I accomplished that I could have some success and that's exactly what I did," he said. "I told myself that if I didn't walk more than a few guys and if I pitched five innings no matter what, that I could be a lot more successful, and that's what I did. Winning a championship is always fun too so I think it was a great year."
"I think it was all approach," he said of his earlier days. His stuff and delivery had always belied the talent over the years, however. He was simply a case of a pitcher who just wouldn't—not couldn't—throw strikes.
"When I was drafted I was told I was good and I don't know if it was expectations being too high—I mean I already have high expectations for myself—but I was told my stuff was really good and I just think I put too (much) pressure on myself," said Greene. "When I simplified things and didn't worry about mechanical things, and just told myself to go after batters, I had a lot more success."
More than just a fastball pitcher, however, he can attack batters with a plus changeup or one of the best sliders around too. Always known for his three plus pitches, Greene who began utilizing his four seam fastball a bit more last season, also added another wrinkle into an already devastating repertoire—a cutter. (Spring 2014)
Shane has a good delivery. He throws a lot of strikes, and he can really manipulate his fastball. He has a very good sinker.
When Detroit's bullpen phone has rang in 2017, more often than not it's been for reliever Shane Greene. Greene was the second Tigers reliever called upon during the 6-3 victory over the Twins at Target Field. He was tasked with getting the final two outs in the seventh frame, which he accomplished in eight pitches. It marked Greene's AL-leading 47th appearance, one more than Bryan Shaw of the Indians.
"I don't think everyone [can do it]," Detroit manger Brad Ausmus said. "I still need to be careful when I use him. I just trust him so much in a variety of roles, it's hard to not use him."
Greene has sat near the top of the league for most of the season in games pitched, but he hasn't necessarily logged an overwhelming amount of innings. But that's mostly a credit to his ability to adapt in a variety of roles. He had 14 games in the eighth inning under his belt, but had also appeared in the fifth (five games) and sixth (eight games).
"I try to not use him as long, if possible," Ausmus said. "It was just a couple outs. So we still need to be very aware of how many appearances he has."
Greene, who is in his fourth Major League season, has never pitched more than 83.2 innings in a given year. Still, the Tigers believe he has actually gotten stronger as the 2017 season has gone on. According to FanGraphs, Greene had a left-on-base percentage of 81.8 percent, a vast improvement from his 56.4-percent clip he posted last year in 2016. Greene's strikeout rate of 25.4 percent this 2017 season was also up from last year's mark of 23.1 percent. His opponents' batting average of .191 and a .252 BABIP were also lower than they've ever been.
"He takes very good care of himself, which doesn't hurt," Ausmus said. (S Jackson - MLB.com - July 22, 2017)
April 7, 2019: Greene became the first Tigers pitcher, and only the third in Major League history, to collect six saves in the first nine games of the season. And Greene got to seven saves quicker than any pitcher in MLB history.
- 2020 Season: While there were a lot of contributors to the Braves’ success in the relief corps, Shane Greene was most assuredly one of them. Lets take a look at the impending free agent to see what went right and wrong for him in 2020.
What went right? Quite a bit, honestly. Greene held opposing batters to a .224 average against him on his way to a 2.60 ERA and 1.12 WHIP in 2020 season. He stranded nearly 80% of batters on base against him and the average exit velocity against him, 87.9 mph, was the lowest it has been since 2017. He also proved to be durable yet against as he made 28 appearances in the regular season followed by six excellent appearances in the postseason.
In a 60 game season, one cannot be upset about that level of production. He also posted his lowest hard hit percentage since 2016 at 27.3% while continuing to keep the walks low. In short, while he doesn’t post gaudy strikeout numbers, he has been everything the Braves wanted when they traded for him to upgrade their bullpen.
What went wrong? Aside from the fact that he seemingly lost the confidence of the coaching staff when it comes to trusting him in high leverage situations in 2020, there were some concerning things about Greene’s peripherals in 2020. He saw a significant drop in his strikeout rate down from over nine K/9 in the previous four seasons to 6.83 K/9 in 2020.
He has also been a guy that has been seemingly lucky to perform as well as he has. While he has posted ERAs below 3 in three of the past four seasons, his FIPs in each of those seasons each approached 4 which suggests a certain amount of luck has been on his side and one does wonder if the Regression Monster will come for him soon.
Despite those FIP concerns, there is also some evidence to suggest that Greene had some bad luck come his way in the postseason as the BABIP against him in the playoffs came in at .353. Sure, this is a small sample we are dealing with, but I am mentioning in nonetheless as Greene was probably even better than his numbers showed in the playoffs which is pretty high praise.
Outlook for 2021: It has been fun having a bullpen that is incredibly deep in talent. Shane could be the closer for a lot of teams in the league and he seemed, at times, to have at least three or four guys ahead of him when it came to being used in high leverage situations. Greene made $6.5 million in 2020 in his final year of arbitration and if the price for his services was in that ballpark, re-signing him seems like it would be a no brainer. However, Greene hits free agency this offseason and he joins Liam Hendricks and Blake Treinen as the three most desirable relievers on the market.
He is not going to get a qualifying offer which will help his market and even if the Braves lose Greene and Mark Melancon, the bullpen still appears to be in relatively decent shape and that money may be better served elsewhere. It isn’t a given that Greene will leave the Braves, but the odds are that Shane will be pitching in a different uniform in 2021. (Eric Cole@leprekhan - Oct 28, 2020)
- As of the start of the 2021 season, Shane has a career record of 23-28 with 4.38 ERA, having allowed 52 home runs and 428 hits in 444 innings. Shane has 66 save out of 82 attempts (80.5%).
August 18–end of 2015 season: Greene was on the D.L. He has a blood vessel issue in his shoulder that's causing aneurysm symptoms in his right hand. "It's called a pseudoaneurysm, which is some weakening in the blood vessel," Tigers head athletic trainer Kevin Rand.
August 27-end of 2015 season: Greene underwent an operation to repair the circumflex artery in his throwing shoulder, and he missed the rest of the season.
April 25-June 4, 2016: Shane was on the DL with a blister on his right middle finger.
- July 2-11, 2018: Shane was on the DL with right shoulder strain.