Report: Dodgers close to adding reliever Shane Greene on MLB deal

Shane Greene. (via)

I’m not sure why, but it kind of always seemed like Shane Greene and the Dodgers would finally find one another. Alex wrote about Greene as a trade deadline target back in 2019.

Well…

Greene, 32, was released by the Braves three days ago. He threw 17 innings of uninspiring ball that led to an ugly 8.47 ERA, 6.77 FIP and 9.6 K-BB%. However, his poor (so far) 2021 seems more like an aberration. In the COVID-shortened 2020 season, Greene posted a 2.60 ERA, 3.81 FIP and an 11.0 K-BB% in 27 2/3 innings for Atlanta. Prior to that, he was a solid middle-relief-type who got save chances for a bad Tigers team from 2017 up until he was traded to the Braves in ’19. From ’17 through last season, Greene was unremarkable, yet solid.

2017-20

  • 3.25 ERA
  • 4.04 FIP
  • 15.6 K-BB%
  • 44.4 GB%

Like I said, he isn’t going to knock anyone out with his numbers, but seeing as the Dodgers could use a guy like that in the bullpen, they could have done a lot worse for a prorated MLB minimum.

Greene, a former starter, as five pitches, but he really only throws three with any kind of regularity. He owns a 91-93 MPH sinker (38.2% usage), an 87-88 MPH cutter (28.7% usage) and an 81-82 MPH slider (26.4% usage). He also has a 4-seam fastball and changeup, but he’s thrown his 4-seamer 12 times … in the last two seasons and he has almost scrapped his changeup (13.3% usage in ’20, 5.2% in ’21).

His slider is predominantly used against righties, while his cutter is what he uses to attack lefties. He also throws more sinkers to righties than lefties, but that’s probably because he faces more righties than lefties. Either way, it’s a pitch that has gotten lit up this season. Opposing batters are hitting .481 against it with an .889 slugging percentage. The small sample size caveat applies, but it’s still a bit jarring to see those numbers on his most-used pitch.

Greene’s cutter and slider have, generally, been more effective than his sinker over the years. Since ’17, his slider and cutter have been at the top end of horizontal movement vs. average among all pitchers (denoted by MLB Rank below).

Cutter Horizontal Movement vs. Avg 2017-20

YearHMov vs. avg (inches)MLB Rank
20175.21
20184.91
20193.94
20202.611

Slider Horizontal Movement vs. Avg 2017-20

YearHMov vs. avg (inches)MLB Rank
20178.11
20188.64
20196.816
20206.420

If you’re wondering why the Dodgers would (potentially) give an MLB contract to a guy with a 8.47 ERA, this is why. He does some things at elite levels, and the Dodgers are always going to be attracted to players with those kinds of skill sets.

They’ve fixed guys like Phil Bickford, Tony Cingrani, Jake McGee, Brandon Morrow, Blake Treinen, and, to a lesser extent, Daniel Hudson. They’ve also had their fair share of failures, but there’s very little risk in this deal and if Greene can rediscover his 2017-20 form, he could fill the middle relief need the Dodgers didn’t really address at the trade deadline.

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosted a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He was a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times and True Blue LA. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.