Yesterday morning there was a strange tweet flying around the Reds Twitterverse. Jon Morosi of MLB Network noted that Hunter Greene will begin the season pitching exclusively, but that the team isn’t closing the door on developing him offensively. That’s sort of surprising, and sort of not. Late last season it was announced that Greene would not be playing shortstop any longer and would focus on pitching.

It’s likely that all of this stemmed from the Shohei Ohtani show we’ve seen over the past few days. He looked outstanding for the most part in his lone start this season on the mound, and he’s hitting .429 with two home runs in 14 plate appearances at the plate. The amount of excitement he’s generating in the baseball world is quite high. I noted last night on twitter that he and his Angels teammates are must watch TV. And I mean that. Get MLB dot TV and watch them as much as you can.

Yesterday, when talking with the media in Dayton, Hunter Greene spoke about pitching and hitting a little bit. You can listen to the whole interview below, but here’s what Greene had to say about the decision of just pitching instead of being a 2-way player:

It was easy, just because I’ve always looked ahead to the future. I understand what my role is, what I need to do and how I need to be healthy. My goal is to get to the big leagues as healthy as I can, as quickly as I can but as healthy as I can, and ready with my innings. So just understanding that ,and understanding what the team wants me to do and like I said, what my role is.

The follow up was about seeing what Ohtani has done and if he thought “could I still maybe do that one day?”

Yeah, for sure. WE don’t know what the future holds so I’m excited to see what happens and just see what happens in the future, for sure.

Hunter Greene is going to pitch this year. He’s not going to be hitting, it would seem. At least not now. Reading into his words above, it sounds like he is at least entertaining the idea, and so are the Reds. Now, what does that mean? We aren’t sure. I doubt they are going to put him back out into the field anytime soon. That brings up too much risk of injury.

But, even if he never gets back in the field, Hunter Greene is going to have to hit one day as a pitcher of a National League team. Once he reaches Double-A, he’ll hit in the minors. With the kind of player that he was coming out of the draft, it would make sense to try and keep him a little bit more into the “hitting mode” than many of your other pitchers. Whether that means getting him batting practice reps with the position guys on some days – something pitchers aren’t usually doing regularly, that’s where things could be a bit more interesting to see.

One day in the future, Hunter Greene could be used similar to how Michael Lorenzen has occasionally been used. While pitching is the main focus, being used as a weapon off of the bench as a pinch hitter when he’s not pitching, could be very beneficial if he can indeed develop as a hitter. As for now, just strap yourself into your seats and get ready to watch the 18-year-old Greene fire fastballs, sliders, change up’s, and curveballs for Dayton, because that’s what the plan is, at least for the time being.

9 Responses

  1. The Duke

    I don’t think it would hurt too much to get him 15-20 games as a DH throughout the year. There is the opportunity cost of the guy he would be taking AB’s from though, be it one of Downs/Garcia, an outfielder, or Alejo Lopez

    • MuddyCleats

      I agree, keep the door open by letting him DH in minors until he proves he is “only” a pitcher

  2. Steve

    He can still take cuts in the cage and be given the opportunity to take BP. His hitting skills may not come into play this year, but from Pensacola, he will have the chance to hit. I should take that back. He would be a good pinch-hitting option on the days that he doesn’t pitch this year. Reds should sign Kyle Zimmer to a minor league contract.

    • MuddyCleats

      Zimmer sounds like walking wounded; Reds don’t need anymore of those types. No telling how much they’ve spent rehabbing someone else’s broken down pitchers over the yrs? Can’t remember the last 1 that worked out? I know injury is concern w/ Green, but who’s 2 say Reds couldn’t get more fm him n trade down the road as 2 way player? That’s what they do – sell off players 4 more prospects – why not Green?

  3. Hoyce

    How hurt is schebler after that HBP on his elbow? Anyone know?

  4. MK

    Be fun on Monday to see Greene pitch to Brendan McKay.

  5. Tseramid

    Thing is that he is being pushed very quickly up as a pitcher. He’s likely not an A-level hitter yet, so it would be a bit disingenuous to put him at the plate at this point in his career. I’m not sure how they can allow him to catch up with the hitting part of his game, but I think it would be setting him up for failure to have him take 100+ ABs in Dayton right now.