Hunter Greene was on MLB Network on Monday afternoon. He talked about a lot of things in the six minutes he was on the show. You can watch the entire segment in the tweet below:

Now, it was two weeks ago when Hunter Greene said he was 100% and feeling great on twitter. It was wonderful news for the Cincinnati Reds and the fans. Some fans, though, questioned what was meant by that. Was he 100% healthy, or cleared for activities? There would be a big difference between the two things. If there was any confusion, though, Hunter Greene cleared it up today.

I had my MRI a couple of weeks ago. Everything was great. 100% healed.

100% healed. I’m sure there have been better words spoken, but those are some pretty good ones.

There was an interesting question, though, about when he could reach the Majors. Greene said that “2020 is what I’m looking at”. That’s a timeline that isn’t outrageous, assuming he’s healthy. He notes that where he’s at next year, High-A or Double-A, he’s looking at 2020. I think it’s reasonable to think that both High-A and Double-A could be in line for him next season. As I wrote last week in his season review, after the first month of the season, Greene dominated until he was injured in late July. If he is able to pick up where he left off, the Florida State League should be in his rear view mirror for the second half.

The Reds haven’t been shy about following that plan if a pitcher has a strong first half in Daytona. But, the Reds also haven’t sent teenagers to Daytona, either. Hunter Greene won’t turn 20-years-old until the final month of the 2019 season. And while his age itself probably won’t come into play, stuff due to his age, could. Because he’s so young, his innings/workload is still being very carefully monitored. The Reds will probably be a little less limiting in 2019 as they were in 2018, but I would expect, even with new leadership all over the minor league side of things, they’ll still set a very detailed plan about how much he will throw during the year.

If Hunter Greene finishes the 2019 season in Double-A, even if he returns to Double-A to begin 2020, that realistically puts him right there and ready for a call up whenever the organization feels he is ready to contribute. It doesn’t happen often, but they showed with Luis Castillo, that they aren’t afraid to call someone up directly from Double-A if they believe that player is ready and there’s a spot for them. Greene is the kind of player that fits the bill for “could jump from Double-A”.  Of course, the hope is that the team can take the time because the big league rotation is performing well.

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23 Responses

  1. redlegs4ever

    I would be less surprised if he spent the entire year in Dayton than if he split season between Daytona and Chattanooga. I would be stunned he didn’t at least start in Dayton.

    For me I think Dayton all of 19 makes sense, then Daytona 20 with a shot at Chattanooga 2nd half, then 21 you’re looking at starting again at Chattanooga with an eye turning toward maybe Cincinnati later in the year. To me that’s even a bit of an aggressive path by normal standards, certainly would be unprecedented by the Reds since the Homer Bailey saga.

      • redlegs4ever

        You would have much more insight into the Reds mindset on this than I would, and for Hunter to put this out there on TV I’m assuming the Reds have at least hinted at pushing him aggressively. So you’re probably right.

        2nd paragraph was all more how I would handle it, but personally I don’t care what levels he’s at as long as priority number one is improving the changeup. The Reds have notoriously developed pitchers with below major league caliber changeups, Cueto is the only pitcher to come up entirely through the system in the last decade plus that even had a decent one.

      • Oldtimer

        He will not go to Dayton if healthy. Daytona Beach, Chattanooga, and Louisville in 2019 and 2020. Reds (earliest) sometime in 2020.

        Pitchers like Jim Maloney, Gary Nolan, Don Gullett, and Jim O’Toole (who pitched for Reds at age 20 or so) are long gone.

        Pitchers need 3-4 years in MiLB now.

  2. Simon Cowell

    It would take a miracle for Hunter Greene to arrive in the majors 2020. I don’t see it happening in any scenario.

    • Schottzie

      2020 September callup wouldn’t be radical, and would fit with the context of the discussion.

      • Colt Holt

        The upshot to that is, as vlad jr can attest, prized prospects aren’t always called up in September. Too much value is available (right or wrong) in keeping them in the minors until April 15th. No guarantee that won’t change with the next cba. Even if it changes, there would be immense risk to starting the clock in September with a cba coming up.

  3. Redsvol

    2020 would be foolish for either the Reds or Hunter. The young man pitched 4 innings in 2017 and 68 in 2018. You don’t bring up a starting pitcher unless you can expect 150 innings. I doubt his innings will be built up to 150 by then – if it is then you’ll be winding him down, not up in late 2020. I love the optimism and passion but the business aspect of bringing him up when he can expect to contribute 150 innings as a starter is what should occur. The earliest that could occur is 2021 – and that’s if everything goes great.

    • Simon Cowell

      With the rate of Tommy John surgery going up and no solution in sight, I would agree. No need to rush him. If he plays his cards right he can pitch for the Reds for 4 years before we can afford him but he could go on to have a 20-year career. Rushing him solves nothing and ends a career.

  4. CP

    I agree the Reds shouldn’t rush him, but if he is ready for the show in 2020 then they should call him up. I can easily see him starting in High A and finishing his year in AA.

    That puts him on the doorstep of the show to start 2020 and ready to be called up when needed. The team will hopefully be in the hunt that year and the addition of a Hunter Greene would be equivalent to trading for a TOR type of talented arm. I’m not saying Greene will immediately be a TOR type of guy, but he has that kind of arm talent. Mid-year additions like that is what teams try to get to put them over the top in the play-off race, and the Reds will have an internal option to add that kind of arm during 2020.

    Great news to hear his MRI came back so clean. This couldn’t have happened to a better young man, and I am really pulling for him!

  5. Patrick

    The other reason not to rush him is having control of him during his prime usually ages 26-29. You want him to become a FA at age 30. So expect debut at age 23.

    • Big Ed

      The operative word there is “usually.” Greene’s prime may be 23-26, or even younger. I like the idea of being patient with him, and bringing him up only when he is ready to win at the MLB level. But if he is ready at age 21, that is when they need to bring him up, because it would serve no purpose to waste a year of health to dominate AAA hitters.

    • CP

      I also think it’s one thing to think about when the prime time to bring a guy is up when you are rebuilding and an entirely different thing when you are in the middle of a play-off push. By 2020 the Reds will hopefully be in the middle of a run for the play-offs. Being able to add Greene might very well be the mid season addition they need to be put over the top.

      The context of Greene’s development is value to the organization. The added value of bringing Greene up in the middle of a play-off push might be immeasurable. Especially for a team so starved for being competitive again. Contract manipulation with a position player less likely to be hurt is one thing, but with pitchers it makes less sense. They are so much more likely to get hurt that you might as well bring them up as soon as they can help the team, so long as it doesn’t stunt their overall development of course.

      • Tom

        The same principle applies to position players. You need them for depth during the playoff push as well. I’ll never forget the impact it had when Joey Votto was injured down the stretch 2012. A guy like India Is equivalent to Alonso or Grandal both of whom would’ve been very helpful in 2012 and they been on the team still.

      • AirborneJayJay

        But Tom,
        The Reds are more than likely not in the position they were in in 2012 without Mat Latos. With that argument, it is 6 one way, a half a dozen the other way.
        But you are right about 2012. The Reds Walt Jocketty’s biggest disservice to the Reds was his reluctance to help out the Reds lineup after JV got hurt. Votto first got hurt in Detroit late in June around the 29th I believe. He then hurt his knee again the Sunday after the all-star game against STL in an awkward AB. Votto then had surgery on the knee. Jocketty did nothing to augment the lineup, absolutely nothing, other than to have Frazier play 1B. The Reds did need another bat then.
        To this day I have not forgiven Walt Jocketty for his terrible neglect of the situation is 2012. It was an immensely squandered opportunity. I still hate the mention of Walt Jocketty’s name whenever I read or hear it.

  6. AirborneJayJay

    Rush their “prized” pitching prospect to the Majors in 2020? The Reds? I’ll believe that when I see that.
    It is nice he has set lofty goals for himself. But realistically, the earliest he should appear in Cincinnati should be mid-April of 2021. It doesn’t do the Reds any good to bring him up any earlier, unless they put him in the bullpen in September for a late season playoff push in 2020. Santillan probably starts out in the Majors in mid-April of 2020. No reason to start his team control clock early in 2019, just as there isn’t much good reason to start Greene’s clock early.
    Will Greene’s elbow hold up until 2021 arrives?
    Will Greene still be in the Reds system come the 2021 season? If the Reds are truly going to go “get the pitching”, and a top-of-the rotation starter via trade, it may come at the cost of Greene. If they go get Thor, then that is OK, but I wouldn’t let Greene go for anything less than 3 years of Thor. And that will probably take Greene + India + 2 others to acquire. Or a mega-deal with the Dodgers for Walker Buehler where Greene goes home to LA.

    • Oldtimer

      It’s been done before (with unfortunate results). Wayne Simpson in 1970 was SP for Reds and went 14-3 (making All-Star team) before hurting his arm. I think he was 21. He was never the same prospect after that injury.

      Gary Nolan and Don Gullett had more success with Reds but they also were out of MLB by age 30.

    • Bob Anderson

      You do realize that Greene may not have had a UCL tear, but
      tendinitis instead. These things are arbitrary in descriptions.