Monday, May 16, 2016
DESPERATE TIMES, DESPERATE MEASURES
The stage is set for Monday after a very unexpected plot twist....and I can't wait to watch. I sit here and hold my breath already as I think about it but the anticipation and mystery factor alone will make this a must see event. Last week if you started talking about Chad Green people may have looked at you funny and asked "Who is that?!" but pretty soon everyone is going to know.
Oh the difference a few hours makes. Last week Green was pitching down in AAA and he wasn't even on the Yankees 40-man roster. After Luis Severino hit the disabled list the Yankees moved Bryan Mitchell and Greg Bird to the 60 day disabled list. Suddenly the unlikely dream of pitching in the big leagues went from a long shot to a reality. The Yankees are trusting an unproven kid for a tall order....in an inter league game. How is that for drama?
The stage is set in my backyard. It is hard enough to step in and pitch when you are unknown. It's harder when you are a new kid that doesn't carry the same weight as a well known prospect. The task becomes even harder when you have to play in a National League stadium and bat....in very unfamiliar and unfriendly territory. Green is going to have the ultimate test with the Arizona Diamondbacks. This is a city where people not only don't like the Yankees, but a city that is still living in 2001 and that is all that will be talked about. It's going to be more pressure than some may realize.
Fans may not be the most familiar with Green but he was part of the trade that sent Justin Wilson to the Detroit Tigers and in his short time down in AAA he has been impressive. So far in 37 innings he has struck out 36 batters and has a 1.22 ERA. The key now will be to take the success he has had down in AAA, use that on big league hitters and pick up a bat and hit. That last part makes things even more complicated.
When talking to the media this weekend, Green mentioned that he has not hit since his days in High School. He owns no bats, or gloves and despite throwing right handed he has only batted as a lefty. The Diamondbacks will have left hander Robbie Ray on the mound so that will make the challenge even more difficult.Green is going to have a lot to work through on Monday night. There will be little breathing room. When he isn't pitching, he will be thinking about hitting. When he isn't thinking about hitting, he will be thinking about pitching scenarios. This isn't just any game.
This series with the Diamondbacks is going to start off quick and it will be intense. Can the Yankees take their momentum on the road with them? Absolutely, and I hope that is exactly what I will get to see during this series. But you aren't alone Green....because this is just as much on the offense as it is you.
To be successful against the Diamondbacks the Yankees need their pitching on point but they also need to hit. Mark Teixeira and the heart of the order need to show up this series. Playing in a National League park is a game changer. Playing against the Diamondbacks will also always mean revenge for transplanted New Yorkers like myself. This is war.
Show them what you got Green.....and BRING IT ON DIAMONDBACKS!
BYB Senior Writer and Editor
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