Reds starter Hunter Greene bolsters his arsenal, adding new pitches to his repertoire

Hunter Greene is ditching the changeup for a different type of off-speed pitch.

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Hunter Greene (21) delivers live batting practice.
Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Hunter Greene (21) delivers live batting practice. / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

One of the knocks against Cincinnati Reds pitcher Hunter Greene throughout his time in the big leagues has been his lack of a third offering. It's a legitimate criticism, as most of the best starting pitchers in the league have more than just a two-pitch arsenal.

Last season, Greene tinkered with a changeup. According to Baseball Savant, Greene went to his off-speed pitch about 5% of the time, while relying on his fastball/ slider combination the other 95% of the time he was on the mound. However, there were games where the changeup was basically nonexistent.

But Reds Pitching Coach Derek Johnson recently divulged to Charlie Goldsmith of the Cincinnati Enquirer that Greene is working on some new offerings this spring. Greene is reportedly working on throwing a curveball and a splitter as a way to slow opposing hitters down.

Reds starter Hunter Greene bolsters his arsenal, adding splitter and curveball

This is tremendous news for Greene and the Reds pitching staff. After agreeing to a six-year, $53 million contract extension last spring, Cincinnati needs Greene to transform into that ace that everyone within the organization believes he can be. This is the next step in his evolution to becoming a top-of-the-rotation starter.

Too many Reds fans forget that Greene essentially lost two years of development due to Tommy John surgery and the cancellation of the minor league season in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Greene is just 24 years old and has barely logged over 200 innings in the big leagues.

Aside from adding the curveball and splitter to his repertoire, Greene has also bulked up over the winter. According to Jeremy Rauch of FOX19, Greene made some changes during the offseason in an effort to have greater durability over the 2024 season.

Greene's injury history has arguably had a greater impact on his career to this point than his lack of a third offering. While adding an off-speed pitch will certainly help, it can't do anything if Greene is on the IL. The right-hander started 24 games during his rookie season, but just 22 in 2023.

Hunter Greene's development as a starter could be difference between the Cincinnati Reds winning the NL Central or slugging it out down the stretch in an attempt to snag a Wild Card spot. Reds fans are hopeful that Greene's additional pitches, as well as a focus on increased durability, will help lead this year's team back to the postseason.