Hunter Greene had a bad outing on Thursday. No one is going to dispute that. The Cincinnati Reds right-hander was lit up for eight runs on nine hits while allowing five home runs. Greene lasted just 2.2 innings and was lifted in favor of Luis Cessa after 76 pitches.
Greene also allowed five balls to leave the yard and has now been taken deep 10 times during the young season. But despite Greene's struggles, those clamoring for the rookie to be sent down to Triple-A Louisville need to be more patient.
Reds RHP Hunter Greene doesn't need to be sent to Triple-A.
While I understand the sentiment, sending Hunter Greene to Triple-A is not the solution. Greene has proven all that needs to prove in the minor leagues. He'll face much tougher competition in the major leagues, and while he'll be humbled at times, the experience that he'll gather this season will be invaluable.
My biggest concern with Greene came during his third start of the season when the 22-year-old saw a tremendous drop in velocity from his previous two starts. Yesterday, according to Baseball Savant, Greene's fastball was averaging 98.1 mph. He almost touched 101 mph with his four-seamer as well.
Now, the Milwaukee Brewers were teeing off on Greene's fastball, as the average exit velocity off the bat 102.8 mph. Outfielder Christian Yelich sent one of Greene's fastball screaming out of the ballpark at 113.6 mph. That's not good, but given how hard Greene throws, he's going to see plenty of home runs over the course of this season and beyond.
If you want to see Hunter Greene sent to Triple-A, who are you going to replace him with? Randy Wynne? Zack Godley? Ben Lively? Greene is among the best pitchers in the Reds system, and if anyone needs to be sent to Triple-A it's Vladimir Gutierrez.
As Reds fans, we've seen pitchers struggle before. Just look back one year ago and you'll see that Luis Castillo struggled immensely. But, after seeing his ERA peak at 7.22 at the end of May, Castillo righted the ship and posted a 2.73 ERA over the final four months of the season.
Hunter Greene is going to take his lumps in the majors this year. He's a rookie. It's very rare that rookies break into the big leagues and make an immediate impact; especially pitchers. The drop in velocity after the first two games was concerning, his struggles beyond that are part of the learning process