Updated: August 4th

Well, I guess I will start off this post by apologizing for what has turned out to be a false report the other day by me. It turns out that Hunter Greene was not pitching because he has a sprained UCL in his elbow. What it wasn’t, is what was reported on these pages the other day. For those who don’t want to click the link, here’s exactly what I reported:

Hunter Greene was listed as the probable pitcher last night in Dayton. Hunter Greene did not pitch last night in Dayton. He was removed from his previous start after two innings with what was described as stomach pains/aches. Before the game the team had no comment – both the Dragons and the Reds.

After the game I had a chance to speak with Luis Bolivar, the manager of the Dayton Dragons about why Greene was not pitching. The stomach issues apparently lasted a few days, which led to him missing his side session between starts. That pushed him back a little bit. I followed up by asking if he would be pitching on the road trip and was told that yes, he would.

Things could have changed between the time that I talked with Luis Bolivar and when the injury happened. Nick Krall, the Reds General Manager told the Cincinnati Enquirer that it happened in a bullpen session. That certainly could have taken place the next day (which would have been Wednesday), and then Hunter Greene went and got checked out and they found what they found.

About an hour ago the Cincinnati Reds released, via twitter, that Hunter Greene has been placed on the disabled list with a sprained UCL and will not pitch again this season. He will begin his rehab in Goodyear immediately, and will be evaluated throughout the offseason.

All of this suggests that the tear, because that’s exactly what a sprain is, isn’t significant and that perhaps treatment, and rest, will allow Hunter Greene to return and pitch next season without having to undergo Tommy John surgery. Michael Lorenzen, for example, has had success with that route.

It’s always unfortunate when a player gets injured. You never want to see it. Hunter Greene had put a rough start to the year behind him and had been dominating the Midwest League for the better part of two months when he ultimately suffered the elbow injury. He finishes the season with a 4.48 ERA in 68.1 innings with 23 walks and 89 strikeouts.

What is the timeline for Hunter Greene?

Hunter Greene is not going to pitch again this year. He will go the rehab route, which may include things like PRP injections and strengthening workouts. Things will be monitored in Goodyear and assessed along the way. The hope would be that those things work and he can return to the mound in 2019. That’s the best case scenario.

It would likely mean that Hunter Greene won’t throw again until next spring. And if at that point things aren’t going well, then it’s possible that you could see him and the Reds opt for Tommy John surgery. In terms of time away from the field, that wouldn’t push things much differently than if he were to have that procedure today. It would probably lead to a few extra months off of the mound. And you never know exactly how someone will return, though Tommy John does have a rather high success rate these days. But from March to 14 months down the road is still a return of June 2020. If Hunter Greene were to undergo the surgery today, he wouldn’t pitch again until spring training of 2020.

Surgery is always the last option. Since the tear is only partial, attempting the rehab route first makes a lot of sense. If you can avoid going under the knife, do so.

46 Responses

  1. Joe

    Wonder if it be best to go ahead and transition back to ss I think he could have a good career still. U can Never have to many ss

    • Doug Gray

      You can never have too many pitchers, either.

      He’s not moving to shortstop.

      • Colt Holt

        I do wonder if they would see how it goes with ohtani and see if they get to a point that they would be willing to let him hit regularly as a dh.

    • MK

      Let’s see each team (mlb or milb) has one shortstop then a utility guy who can play shortstop. Each team has 12 or 13 pitchers. I would say there is a much bigger need for pitchers than shortstops.

      • Joe

        I kno I agree for sure.Jm Jus thinkn out loud I hate waste top talent and 3-4yrs of not hitting jus find out his arm to fragile he only had around 150 innings or so in 5-6yrs put on his arm

  2. kevinz

    Hate seeing this for our reds sake 2 of our top 5 picks not healthy.
    Other prospects having down seasons. Trammell Siri etc. I will go wilt in the corner somewhere until somebody has some good Reds news haha.

      • kevinz

        It is a Down season when a break out season was expected.
        2 months of good ball or bad ball can make a season.
        Look at Votto his hot 2 months after ASG usually makes his season.

    • kevinz

      I do over react that my specialty lol. I do realize the last Month has really hurt Trammell season numbers. Plus Siri has been adjusting nice lately to AA. I over reacted because hate seeing top 2 Prospects hurt. Positive not though that there are other talented prospects who can shine these next few weeks.

  3. Alan

    So, perhaps trading him in a package for something significant earlier this season might’ve been a good idea, after all, then?

  4. Shawn

    I’m potty training my son and he’s had three accidents in the floor today. It’s been super frustrating. This by far puts the cherry on top. If someone steals second tonight and no one covers second, it may put the nail in the coffin.

  5. B-town Fan

    Doug do you think Luis Bolivar was telling you the truth or giving you the company line until they knew what was for sure going on with Greene’s elbow. For fans that follow the team really closely it doesn’t instill confidence that the next time a reason is given for a players injury or non playing issue that fans will jump to conclusions, of the worst first because you can’t believe there explanations.
    As for Greene I guess the good mechanics, that he is said to have, that led to the easy high end velocity didn’t matter much. I hope this doesn’t end up being a Stephen Strasburg situation were he’s seemingly always injured to one degree or another. The fact that this has happened so early in his career is shocking. This really pushes back his eta to the majors a lot maybe to 22 or 2023, I thought it might be 21 or even aug/sep of 20. I’m sure Hunter is probably really bummed a the moment.

    • RFM

      Teams are under no obligation to report accurate medical information, and reporting something less-than-accurate to satisfy fans is nothing new. Sometimes (especially in cases of off-the-field injuries) they want more information (in this case a few days to evaluate Greene’s elbow, determine their course of action), other times they want to respect the player’s privacy (and there are laws about protecting medical information…), like Joey Votto’s inner-ear infection.

      You should always take team medical reports with a grain of salt. To some extent they’re merely generalized talking points. They’re not looking to earn your respect via honesty, transparency, and integrity… they’re trying to do something more complex… what’s best for player, what’s best for them, and what’s easiest for fans, all at the same time. Heck, Bryan Price once threw his fit, as I recall, in part because he didn’t want injury status reported because knowing who was unavailable gave the other team an advantage. There’s just a lot more that goes into the messaging process than honesty and transparency.

      On a mostly unrelated note, Disco and Lorenzen avoided Tommy John surgery, so might Shohei Ohtani – I’m hoping that Hunter Greene can too. All we can do is hope. No sense in getting bogged down in frustration about TJ surgery until we know more.

  6. Kap

    Sick of our guys getting injured. We’ll keeping rebuilding forever at this rate

  7. GM Nep O'Tism

    I would argue that Lorenzen might not be a “success” if we look at what’s going on with him right now.

    2016 FB Speed, K/9: 96.2 , 8.6
    2017 FB Speed, K/9: 96.4 , 8.7
    2018 FB Speed, K/9: 94.9 , 6.2

    That’s a drop of ~1.5mph and ~2.5 K/9 compared to the last two years. Combine that with…

    2018 Splits (by Month):
    May: .188/.278/.188 , 0.00 ERA , 1.000 WHIP
    June: .231/.316/.338 , 2.45 ERA , 1.255 WHIP
    July: .271/.348/.407 , 4.11 ERA , 1.500 WHIP

    I don’t wish ill upon him, but I really wouldn’t be surprised if he finds himself on the DL before the end of the season. Something isn’t right with him.

    I understand the hesitance to jump to surgery, but I really feel at the end of the day that rehab-only is a low probability outcome and will really just end up wasting more time in the long run when they have poor performance before eventually needing TJ anyway. The Reds went the rehab route with both Homer Bailey and Mat Latos for 2014 injuries. Bailey ended up needing surgery the next season anyway and Latos’ career completely derailed and his arm was never the same.

    With such a high success rate these days, I wonder if it’s not just better to go ahead and do it. I can’t help but think that we’re all going to be “surprised” when Greene needs surgery this offseason or in the first half of next year anyway, equating to basically an extra lost year.

    ….I also can’t help but wonder if the Reds blew it by not trading Greene when his stock was so high. I have to imagine he would have been an awfully attractive centerpiece in a DeGrom (or Archer) trade before this injury business.

    • RFM

      There’s a LOT of things that could be effecting Lorenzen that aren’t his UCL. Other body parts, mechanics, something psychological.

      I can’t help but think that we’re all going to be surprised in the spring when Hunter Greene shows that he, too, has beat this, without surgery.

      High success rate or not, any surgeon should tell you that surgery is the LAST option, not the first. Obviously the failure rate of TJ surgery is higher than not needing TJ surgery at all.

      • GM Nep O'Tism

        I just know the last 4 guys they tried the non-surgical route with, there have been poor results.

        -Lorenzen is the best of the four, but has red flags that something is wrong.
        -DeScalfani is getting absolutely shelled.
        -Bailey ended up having to get it the next year anyway, wasting an extra year.
        -Latos went from 5 straight sub-3.5 ERA years, to 3 partial years of 5.05 ERA and out of the league at age 29.

        That’s not exactly a great record of success with this approach.

      • Doug Gray

        I could be wrong, but I don’t think Bailey or Latos fall into the “partial tear in the UCL and tried rehab first” categories with the Reds. Bailey had surgery to fix a flexor mass issue. Then he had Tommy John surgery. Latos had knee surgery and was never the same.

  8. Doc

    MLB Trade Rumors said he hurt it during his bullpen session. If that is truly the case, then maybe Boliver was being truthful.

    • B-town Fan

      Doc it doesn’t say anything about hurting it in his bullpen session in the MLB Trade Rumors story on Greene, unless that part has been edited out since you saw it.

      • Doug Gray

        I haven’t seen their report. But I did see the bullpen session thing somewhere (I believe it was the Enquirer that had it).

        I’m just going to keep my thoughts to myself on it all, though. At least for now.

  9. Joe

    Since on subject or possible future no1 starters Robert Stephenson is straight fire thru 4..9ks and 8of first 9 k’d

  10. MK

    Hopefully their track record on the diagnosis of rehab rather than surgery gets better with Hunter than it has been with others.

    • RFM

      DeSclafani, Lorenzen both avoided TJ surgery. The team’s recent track record (luck, whatever you want to call it) on rehabbing guy’s UCL is remarkable. Obviously they’ve both had other non-elbow issues too, but it seems silly to blame avoiding TJ surgery for causing a pulled abdominal muscle and whatever else. Other guys with more significant tears (Shackelford, Moscot) have gone under the knife, but they’re 2 for 2 in guys with sprains who try to rehab. A track record can’t get much better than that.

  11. Shamrock

    I knew this guy wasn’t worth no $7,000,000.
    Fairchild isn’t producing and Jeter projects as nothing more than long-term 2B depth.
    The ’17 Draft was a bust.

    On the plus side, the Greene kid is now a multi multi millionaire and will get to show off his pic on the S.I. Cover to his grandkids.
    Words of baseball Wisdom: Never bet the house on a RH High School ARM!!!!!!!!

  12. Brad

    Can we go back and trade Greene for Mackenzie Gore or Jo Adell and the future rights to Tommy Mace?

  13. AirborneJayJay

    I would bet a month’s salary he got hurt in The Futures game and those 17 straight 100+ mph fastballs. Nowhere has it been documented that Greene had done anything remotely like that before. He skipped his first start afterward and went 2 innings in the next. Connect the dots.

    • Doug Gray

      Hunter Greene hit 102 MPH the night he was pulled after 2 innings. Dots can’t be connected.

      • Doug Gray

        Because if he got hurt in the Futures Game he isn’t coming out and throwing 102 the next time he took the mound.

    • Doug Gray

      Let’s also note that no, Hunter Greene did not skip his first start afterwards. He pitched in the Futures Game on Sunday. His next appearance was four days later, starting on the road against Wisconsin. Then he pitched 6 days later at home against Fort Wayne, which is the start he left early.

  14. DocBagel

    I will say 18 year olds heal a lot faster than us older folks. I wish him the best.

  15. The Rage

    It’s not a tear. It was inflammation from bicep inflammation.