Over the past season, Chad Green has gone from strong bullpen piece to an afterthought now. But why has he fallen off for the Yankees?
In 2017 Chad Green exploded onto the scene and quickly became one of the Yankees best bullpen arms, seeming almost unhittable while throwing mostly fastballs. But since then, it seems like Chad Green has slowly lost some of that magic. This year is much worse as Green looks lost on the mound. As of his last outing, in 2019, Green sports a 0-2 record with an 11.81 ERA. Here are two aspects to point to as to why he could be struggling.
Slightly decreased Velocity and lack of control
Chad Green is a fastball pitcher. Last year his fastball sat around 96-97mph with an above average spin rate. This year his fastball is looking a little slower, sitting around 94-95. While it isn’t that big of a difference, Green relies almost primarily on his fastball, he threw it 86.6% of the time last year, with it coming in slightly slower hitters have just a little bit more time to react and thus why he is getting almost shelled in every appearance.
Also, early on it seems that Green is lacking the pinpoint control he had last year and in 2017. While control issues plague pitchers early in the season almost every year, it is something to keep an eye on.
Lack of a competitive secondary pitch
While the slight decrease in velocity could be a reason why he is struggling a lot this year, the main reason, in my opinion, is Green’s lack of a competitive secondary pitch. With everyone coming out of the bullpen throwing upper 90’s fastballs, players are starting to get used to it and being able to hit them more often. Most pitchers have at least a competitive secondary pitch, which they can use to set up their fastball and make it that much better.
For example, Chapman has started to throw his slider more than normal and now hitters have to think about his fastball and his slider. For Chad Green, his main secondary pitch was his slider which he threw 10.2% of the time. His slider was destroyed almost every time he threw it. Hitters hit .414 and slugged .655 against it last year. Green needs to develop his slider soon and the best way to do it is to start throwing it more.
If Green doesn’t develop his slider soon, then we may have another problem to address.