Sean Green in the Bigs
Posted by Jason A. Churchill on April 30, 2006
Sean Green was called up to replace Julio Mateo in the M's bullpen on Sunday and with that one, very small, seemingly insignificant move, the Mariners got better.
Not only has Mateo been terrible, but Green may actually be able to help the ailing bullpen with his style and durability.
At this time, I'm not equipped with the proper info to pass on a scouting report on Mr. Green, but here's what you can expect from Green in the big leagues.
The 27-year-old right-hander is 6-6 and 225 pounds and is one of my favorite minor leaguers in the system.
Because he induces great ground ball rates.
It's something not many pitchers do but because I believe the fewer fly balls that are hit the fewer the home runs there will be, ground ball pitchers are very valuable in my opinion.
Green posted a 2.60 G/F ratio in Double-A San Antonio last summer and after his promotion to Tacoma, improved to 3.12.
Think of that for a second. Considering the hit totals Green yielded, every five times a hitter makes playable contact against Green, three of those are ground balls. Not line drives, ground balls.
Now think about this… what percentage of ground balls are fielded for outs?
I don't know what the rate is this year in the bigs, but I can assure you the number is very, very high. Always has been, always will be, and with defense becoming such a key ingredient, that number is only going to get higher.
Green works with a low-90s fastball. But it's not just a typical, everyday 90mph heater. Not at all.
Green's heat does one thing that defies what 'heat' normally does; it sinks, and it sinks a lot.
His sinker is among the better pitches the organization employs, and Green has been long thought of as a useful arm at the big-league level, once he got his shot.
Mechanically, Green has just about polished off a very solid adjustment that Rafael Chaves began with him last season in Tacoma.
"We’re trying to make sure he stays closed on the front side," said Chaves last summer. "Because he has a tendency to fly open and that causes him to leave pitches on the right side of the plate."
Chaves said that if Green can keep that shoulder closed, he'll naturally throw more strikes.
Well, he's certainly done that this year, issuing just four walks in 13 innings. He's only fanned eight, but he's surrendered just eight hits and has yet to give up a home run.
He's recorded 39 outs this season, eight via the strikeout and 25 via ground ball out. Only six outs have been recorded in the air, and none of those fly balls or line drives that were base hits left the yard.
He's a good fit for the M's pen, especially when they are away from Safeco Field where Mateo, a severe fly ball pitcher, can often be bitten by the homer.
Expect Green to pound the strikezone early in the count and to use his sinker almost exclusively, unless he begins to struggle.
He will throw a 4-seamer on occasion and has a breaking ball that rates as slightly below average, but improving.
Exit Julio Mateo: Extreme fly ball pitcher with less-than interesting stuff and average command – for 800k.
Enter Sean Green: Extreme ground ball pitcher, whose natural effect is the M's strengths on defense on the left side of the diamond and above average command – for 300k.
It's not automatic that Green is all that great, but can he be worse than Julio Mateo? Not likely, and there's a pretty good chance that he's solid. He can cover 2+ innings at a time and that's what the M's need until Felix gets things right and starts going seven per start again, and until Meche is traded for the table scraps of the Triple-A Richmond Braves.