The start of the 2018 season hasn’t gone exactly as the Cincinnati Reds had hoped it would for Hunter Greene. That’s not so much an indictment on how he’s pitched, but how the weather hasn’t cooperated. In his season debut the temperature was 39° at first pitch. His second start was snowed out. Then the next game was also snowed out. It wound up being nine days between starts due to the snow and a scheduled off day for Dayton. Wednesday night saw the Reds prized 18-year-old pitcher take the mound for the second time on the season, and the weather appeared to be cooperating at first. Through the first two inning, the rain held off. The third inning, however, saw the sky open up. At first it was just a light sprinkling, but the rain got pretty heavy after the first batter of the inning.

In the middle of the, with a full count, the umpires had to call for a delay. The mound was a disaster, there was standing water around the infield. The delay would last for an hour and thirty three minutes. For Hunter Greene, outside of the shortened start due to the rain, things went well. He allowed three hits in 2.1 shutout innings. There was a hit batter on a 101 MPH fastball, which surely felt wonderful for Christian Donahue. And there was also a walk in the downpour final frame. But it also came with three strikeouts on the night, giving him 11 on the season with just one walk.

In the first start of the year, Hunter Greene only threw one change up. After the game he noted that he wanted to continue to work on getting out left handers. Last night he threw more change ups to left handed batters in the South Bend lineup. Let’s take a look at the fastball versus the change up to a lefty.

These were back-to-back pitches. Not shown here was the next pitch, also a change up. The first thing that stands out is that at 99 MPH, there’s late life on that pitch. With the next pitch, there’s similar life to it. What’s very nice to see, as well, is in the overlay of the two pitches, how well the mechanics, arm action, arm speed – all of it, remains the same between the two offerings.

The change up is still a clear third offering behind the fastball and the slider. But Wednesday night showed that it’s a weapon that can be utilized, particularly against left handed hitters. He sells it well, there’s good velocity separation on the pitch and with more repetitions it could become an above-average offering to pair with his two plus ones he’s already showing.


18 Responses

  1. The Duke

    Heard on the radio call that he also threw his curveball some as well, coming in about 83 mph.

    • Doug Gray

      It’s possible, but they could have been sliders. His curveball in spring training was quite a bit slower than the slider. 83 is the slider range. With the rain delay, and knowing I had a lot of work to do once I got home, I didn’t go down to talk to him after the game and ask questions. I should have because I didn’t actually get out any quicker than I would have if I did, even though I planned on it. That’s on me.

      • The Duke

        I thought his slider was working 87-89 in his first start though. I was wholly reliant on what Nichols was saying though.

      • Doug Gray

        First start it was. This start it was more in the 83-87 range. As I said, I should have talked to him after the game. I’m thinking about making the trip back to Dayton today. I’m about 75% sure I’m going to. If I do, I’ll try to talk to him about last night and get the breakdown from him.

    • Doug Gray

      Checking back in, so hopefully you see this, but yeah – sliders only, no curves.

      • The Duke

        Thanks for the update. Maybe in his next start he’ll actually get to play in weather that’s above 60° and dry.

  2. CP

    So far so good for Greene. Stay healthy, build his innings, keep focused on development. It’s been encouraging to see his focus on wanting to develop his changeup and approach things as a pitcher and not just trying to blow everyone away with his fastball.

  3. jim t

    Hate to go off topic but it appears that the Price era has ended. Being reported on Twitter that Price and Jenkins have been let go with Riggleman acting as intern until next year when a through search will be conducted for a new manager.

  4. Billy

    Price and Jenkins out, Riggleman in as interim manager. Pat Kelly (AAA) comes up to be bench coach and Danny Darwin (AA pitching coach) becomes pitching coach. It was inevitable, but I thought they’d wait until the team returned home first.

  5. The Duke

    Not Price’s fault we can’t hit. I don’t think this is going to help, but I don’t think it’s exactly going to hurt either. As long as Riggleman is nothing more than the interim manager and we do a real search at least.

    • CP

      I agree it may not help as far as the X’s and O’s go. But what it does do is send a clear message from the FO to the rest of the team. The status quo is no longer acceptable. This is a clear message that what Votto said at ST is the stance of the organization going forward. It’s time to start winning right now.

      Now I just hope to see better usage of players with the future in mind. No more giving starts to Pennington/Goselin when they could be going to guys like Blandino. No more wasting Garrett in the bullpen if he is going to be there instead of being a SP. Use him in higher leverage situations and challenge him. Or at least USE him at all!

      Change was needed. Yes it was early, but enough was enough. Price was not managing in step with the FO it seemed at many times. Hopefully Riggleman will take the lead from the FO and play the team the way it was built to be played.

    • Kap

      The only thing he could have done was change the lineups occasionally, besides winker leading off. Have votto hit second, move barnhart up more. Anything to create more scoring opportunities

      • Billy

        Is this true? I don’t really think so. I don’t know what he could have done differently, but this team just hasn’t felt prepared to start the season to me. Say what you will about Dusty, but he knew how to manage for a full season. For a young team needing to turn a corner, getting out of the gate strong is a major need. Price didn’t have them ready to do that. This team is not great, but they aren’t nearly as bad as they’ve looked, and I do think that’s on Price to a significant extent.

  6. Tom

    This team is probably going nowhere until 2020 at the earliest because the pitching is and has been historically terrible and the offense is plain average at best.

    Price out means very little unless they bring in Girardi or some other top manager who sees an opportunity. If they can’t bring in a top tier guy that is a bad sign and yet wouldn’t surprise me.

    Maybe Jenkins out means we might see better development, but my sense is that the pitching prospects coming up are just average. It will take a lot to get the most out of them. Nevertheless, there is no excuse not to have the best 1 or 2 bullpen in the NL by August once the great sorting process of 2016, 2017, 2018 is complete!

    • redleggingfordayz

      Girardi was fired because he couldn’t get along with the younger players. You want to bring him in to manage the youngest team in baseball? “Top Tier Guy” is really just a buzzword. What the Reds need is someone who can help execute the FO’s plans while also helping to bring along many of the young prospects who are coming up. Having a shared vision throughout the management team is what all other clubs in baseball are already moving towards. The Reds should follow suit.

  7. Jim t

    I rarely criticize players. I think they all give effort. What I see out of this team is a lack of focus not necessarily effort. I mean in the Philly series you had Votyo paying more attention to the fans along the first base line and we are getting our head handed to us. This is our leader. The body language I see is one of acceptance. One rumor circulating is Votto telling Molina we are terrible. I expect much more for 25 mil and the leader of the team. Am I reading to much into this.

    • Jack

      ,I wouldn’t put much stock in rumors and am not ready to criticize the hardest working man on the team