Hunter Greene Focuses On Secondaries In Return
Hunter Greene didn’t get out to the best start at low Class A Dayton in his first full pro season in 2018.
In his first five starts his ERA was 13.97 in just 9.2 innings. After that, however, the righthander went on a run over his next 13 starts and posted a 2.91 ERA with just 13 walks compared to 71 strikeouts in 58.2 innings in the Midwest League.
His season would come to an early end when he was shut down when he tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow in early August, ending his stellar run.
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Greene opted for the rehab route on his elbow. Things were going well until his final start of spring training in 2019 when he re-injured his elbow and opted for Tommy John surgery.
Coming back from injury yet again, the 21-year-old reworked his mechanics to shorten his arm path and alter his arm slot.
"It didn’t take too long for me to get into that slot, so it feels good,” Greene said. “All of my pitches are working, and I found a great arm slot and everything feels good. For me it’s definitely a new look, and it’s efficient.”
The Reds' rehab plan wasn’t going to get the 2017 second overall pick out of Notre Dame High in Sherman Oaks, Calif., back in minor league games until early June this season, but the baseball shutdown bought time for Greene and the Reds.
“In a selfish way, it was good for me just because it gave me more time to focus on my pitches and really refine my stuff and master what I’ve been trying to work on," Greene said.
Known for a triple-digit fastball, Greene doesn't have to work on building velocity as he returns from his surgery.
“I think one of the biggest focuses on the way back is making sure that I’m really pitching and getting back to establishing my secondary pitches," Greene said, "and really mastering those has been really important for me."
— Righthander Tejay Antone showed up in 2020 with an uptick in velocity. After sitting at 89-92 mph as a starter in 2019, Antone came out throwing 96-98 in March in short stints and was back around that mark during summer camp.
— Even with rosters expanded to 30 players for major league teams for the start of the season, Rule 5 selection Mark Payton couldn’t break onto the roster in a crowded outfield and was returned to the Athletics.