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Analysis

Is Chad Green the Yankees’ most underrated impact player?

The New York Yankees have a roster littered with big names and extremely productive players. When a roster like this one is so full of talent, there are some players that could be slightly forgotten about. While fans certainly believe in the talent of reliever Chad Green, he might be one of the most underrated players on the team.

Thanks to an incredible resurgence after being sent down early in 2019, Green became one of the most reliable arms for the Yankees out of the bullpen. His flexibility to pitch in any spot and ability to provide consistency out of the bullpen truly helped the Yankees earn their way to the playoffs.

It is easy to overlook Green’s accomplishments. He doesn’t hold a prominent role like the closer or set up man, but he was just as reliable. The adjustments he made during his promotion helped both himself and the Yankees.

A tough start

Green was brutal through his first 10 outings of the season. There’s not really a way around it. Opposing teams hit .407 on balls in play while he struck out just seven batters in 7.2 innings pitched. He also surrendered 14 runs in that span.

However, the trip down to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre at the end of April was a blessing in disguise. It wound up changing Green’s whole season and gave the Yankees another reliable arm.

A strong turnaround

Though the sample size following the demotion is much larger, it shows just how much more impactful Green was. In 44 games and 61.1 innings pitched after the demotion, Green was borderline elite. He posted a 2.64 ERA and .333 batting average on balls in play. He also limited opposing hitters to a .653 OPS during that span.

But the most impressive part of his turnaround was his ability to rack up the strikeouts and limit the walks. In those 61.1 innings pitched, Green struck out 91 batters and walked just 15. His 5.2% walk rate was the second-lowest among any Yankees reliever with at least 30 innings.

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The Yankees called on Green whenever they needed to get out of a jam. He was also used as a bridge to Aroldis Chapman, which helped shorten games. But sometimes we overlook his achievements because he wasn’t always finishing games. That still doesn’t take away from the impact he had on getting the Yankees closer to 27 outs.

There are a lot of big arms in the Yankees bullpen. But Green showed in 2019 that he can be one of the most reliable relievers in baseball—not just on the Yankees.

Even with the addition of Gerrit Cole to the starting rotation, Green will hold an important role in the Yankees bullpen. Even if his achievements will sometimes fly under the radar.

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