The Aftermath of Chad Green’s Injury


New York Yankees starting pitcher Chad Green will head for an MRI Saturday after leaving Friday’s 8-0 loss to Baltimore with an elbow issue.

Chad Green wasn’t originally supposed to be a part of the New York Yankees long term plans. Coming into the season, he wasn’t regarded as a top prospect, nor was he expected to crack the starting rotation. However, due to injuries and poor performances, Green was given the opportunity to audition to act as a stop-gap starter for New York down the stretch.

After a string of a few nice starts, it started to look like Green might be a viable long-term member of the rotation for 2017 and beyond. Coming into Friday night, Green had a 2.70 ERA and 3.81 FIP in his last three starts, striking out 20 opposing batters in 16.2 innings pitched.

Green was one of the pieces that came back to the Yankees, along with Luis Cessa, when they shipped Justin Wilson off to the Detroit Tigers last offseason. At the time, it seemed foolish for the Yankees to trade Wilson away. He was cheap, coming off a fantastic season, and proved that he could handle the seventh inning for the team. 

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By August, this trade looked like one of GM Brian Cashman’s best. Both Cessa and Green were in the Yankees rotation and actually thriving. Acquiring not one, but two, young starters for a good, but not great, lefty reliever is an undeniable coup for Cashman.

Unfortunately, Green left his start against the Baltimore Orioles in the second inning due to discomfort in his throwing elbow. Green was on the hook for four runs and five hits in just 1 2/3 innings. Now, Green will head to a doctor and pray that he doesn’t have to go under the knife. He is scheduled for an MRI Saturday.

Luckily for the Yankees, this happened on the day that rosters expanded for September, with struggling phenom Luis Severino brought back to the majors. While it’s possible they may have kept Severino in the bullpen the rest of the year, it’s now very likely that we will see him step back into the rotation for the stretch run. 

The Yankees currently find themselves in an odd position. While it was clear that they waived the white flag at the trade deadline, the team currently still has a chance of making the playoffs. Even after Friday’s loss, they remain just 3.5 games behind the Orioles for the second Wild Card.

Severino will be the key to helping them propel themselves into a Wild Card spot. Not only that, they may finally have an answer on whether he belongs in the rotation or the bullpen long term. While this injury does seem to give Severino another chance at starting, there’s no denying that the loss of Green hurts the team now and in the future.

An injury to the starting rotation was the last thing that this team needed. Luis Cessa has shown flashes that he might stick in the rotation, but his trouble with the long ball might force his way to the bullpen long term.

There’s been a lot of buzz about the team’s young bats, especially Gary Sanchez, but the team will need to have a stable rotation if they plan on competing in 2017 and beyond. Currently, beyond Masahiro Tanaka, the team doesn’t seem to have a reliable starter to hand the ball to every fifth day. If Luis Severino can return to his 2015 form, a huge weight will be lifted off of the team’s shoulders.

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If Green does have to go under the knife, and Severino subsequently struggles, the Yankees will find themselves searching for pitchers on the trade market this offseason. Names like Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, and Sonny Gray have come up as trade candidates in recent months.

Of course, the team would have to part with at least one, if not multiple of their top prospects to acquire a pitcher of that caliber. We have seen what Brian Cashman can do to get young bats, now we have to see what he can do to get young arms.