Exactly one year ago, I probably had no opinion on Shane Greene. My opinion on him, even up to the day he was called up, was pretty much the same as my opinion on someone like Chris Leroux, Bruce Billings, or Bryan Mitchell: "Sure, they're decent depth and they may have an intriguing pitch, but they probably won't help the big league club". I was very much wrong about Greene, both in terms of his contributions towards the club in 2014 and in terms of trade value.
Greene was drafted in the 15th round (465th overall) of the 2009 draft, and he quietly stepped his way through the organization with nary a peep. He never appeared on any top prospect lists--either in the organization or on the national level–and his numbers throughout the minor leagues were never particularly impressive. Just last year, he had a 3.18 ERA and 3.61 FIP in Double-A. Greene primarily works with a sinker and cutter that can range from 88-94 mph; he also uses an 81-83 mph slider and occasionally a four-seam fastball and changeup. None of these pitches are particularly special, but they seem to get the job done. His slider was pretty effective, and in general he tries to hit his spots and induce as much weak contact as possible.
Greene was called up for a brief stint in April, was tagged for three earned runs in a third of an inning against the Red Sox, and he faded away until July. Then, after the entire rotation befell The Humbler's power to spread the injury bug, Greene was forced into the rotation to fill the hole beginning on July 7th. He began his second stint in the majors on a high note as he allowed two runs over six innings in Cleveland against the Indians. We all weren't sure how long the experiment would last, but Greene stuck it out until the end of the year.
When all was said and done, Greene had put up a 96 ERA- and 96 FIP- in 78.2 innings. We saw some awesome moments, like when he threw eight scoreless innings against the Tigers:
And we saw some ugly moments of incredibly poor defense against the Rangers:
That doesn't mean he always had a lead glove, though:
Overall, I think all fans will miss the short term excitement that Greene gave us, and I think many are pretty happy that a pitcher who was a non-factor a few months ago could net a shortstop for next year's team. And to the Tigers' fans out there, keep #EasyBeingGreene alive: