Blue Jays newest pitcher Chad Green will be key piece when he returns from injury

New York Yankees Photo Day
New York Yankees Photo Day / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

The Toronto Blue Jays ended January 2023 with the padding of the pitching staff, setup for “down the road” assistance, in the two-year signing of former New York Yankees RHP Chad Green. This signing is an interesting deal, with an even more interesting twist.

Green will not be at full health for the beginning or maybe even mid-season, as he is recovering from Tommy John surgery. Some may ask, why make such a transaction with this much vulnerability behind it? This is definitely a valid question. On the flip side where the glass is half full, why not take a shot for a proven class-A arm for only $8.5M upfront?  Both are perspectives which ponder interest as we move closer and closer to the 2023 season.

Blue Jays past Tommy John experience haunts the thought of the Green signing 

In 2022, Green exited a game in May, which left him sidelined to this day, and for months to come. It is without a doubt that we are in a different era of baseball, with advanced analytics, metrics, physiology, and medical research, however, the past always plays a nightmare with these scenarios.

Closer to home, about 16 years ago, the Blue Jays experienced a similar situation which lead to a downfall.  In November 2005, the Blue Jays inked star closer B.J. Ryan to a huge five-year, $47M contract. In 2007, Ryan underwent Tommy John Surgery, bounced back the next year, then declined into demotion and eventually hung up the spikes for good. Ryan eventually lost stamina, experiencing a reduction in fastball velocity, and probably could not spell the word “effective”.  

This is only one of many scenarios across the league, and definitely is a true concern when dealing with free agents in the same boat; however, there have been a ton of success stories, and this is what we gear towards, as the Blue Jays front office did.  So, in a best case scenario, how does Chad Green help Toronto?

Blue Jays can reap the benefits of a healthy Chad Green in a timely manner

Obviously it does not look like we’ll have Chad Green before the All-Star break. Between recovery, rehab and rehab appearances, we’re probably looking at late August at best. If all goes well, Green will be refined, polished, and limited on his innings as he builds up his arm towards September and October. Yes, October. No better time to have a key signing in your back pocket where it matters.

Chad Green has been an underrated gem for the New York Yankees, picking up the teams slack out of the bullpen, and eating innings to assist the starters. In seven seasons, Green has totaled a 3.17 ERA with 33 wins, 22 losses, 494 strikeouts and just 96 walks in 383+ innings.

Green has four pitches at his disposal, but only uses two of them with any regularity; a fourseam fastball and curveball. His repertoire stands solid with these two options, as he’s able to gas up to 97 with bite and good command, along with his out pitch curveball that sweeps into the lower part of the zone, and can force fishing and roll-overs. His curve moves between a 23-45 inch drop.

Next. Are the Blue Jays becoming a desired free agent destination?. dark