Toronto Blue Jays 2023 Season Preview: RHP Chad Green
Up next in our Toronto Blue Jays 2023 season preview series is relief pitcher Chad Green.
Addison Barger, Anthony Bass, Chris Bassitt, Brandon Belt, José Berríos, Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, Matt Chapman, Adam Cimber, Hagen Danner, Santiago Espinal, Matt Gage, Yimi García, Kevin Gausman, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Thomas Hatch, Spencer Horwitz, Danny Jansen, Leo Jimenez
Here's a quick refresher on the projection systems we're using and their predictions for Green's upcoming season.
STEAMER: 1-1 record, 3.69 ERA, 22 SO and 6 BB in 20 innings
ZiPS DC: 2-1 record, 3.86 ERA, 24 SO and 6 BB in 20 innings
THE BAT: 2-2 record, 3.56 ERA, 36 SO and 4 BB in 32 innings
2022 stats: 1-1 record, 3.00 ERA, 16 SO and 5 BB in 15 innings
Note: ZiPS DC projections are pro-rated for the playing time indicated by Roster Resource Depth Charts on FanGraphs.
Green, 31, is trading in his Yankees pinstripes for the blue and white (and red) after signing a two-year deal with the Jays.
Currently recovering from Tommy John surgery last June, Green won't appear in a Jays uniform until sometime after the All-Star break. We don't have an official return date yet, but he will be a significant addition to the bullpen when he does make it back.
As for the projections, Steamer and ZiPS DC predict Green will get 20 innings, which would be about a month and a half of work. THE BAT seems to think he'll arrive in Toronto earlier and throw 32 innings.
Ideally, he will be able to spend a couple of months in the Jays' bullpen and contribute during the stretch run to the playoffs.
The experienced reliever brings swing-and-miss stuff, something the Jays needed to add to their relief corps. His Statcast page on Baseball Savant shows a lot of red in the places you want to see for a reliever.
Over his career, Green has been near the top of the league in strikeout rate percentile rankings and has had a solid whiff%.
Whiff% Percentile Ranking
K% Percentile Ranking
The projections peg him for more than a strikeout per inning pace. In his short 15 innings last year before the injury, he posted the lowest K/9 of his career at 9.60. You can see what he's done in previous years:
While Green's K/9 each season has been impressive, he's been a slow starter over his past couple of full seasons. In 2019 and 2021, his K/9 through April was 8.22 in both years. Through the remainder of those seasons, he pitched to a stellar 13.35 K/9 mark in 2019 and 11.20 K/9 in 2021.
Whether the righty is a slow starter or not, when he returns there will be an adjustment period as he will have to catch up to a league that will be well into the dog days of summer by then. We'll have to watch the velocity to see if he gets his fastball back up to sit 95+ mph again and how long it takes him to get his command.
We'll just have to hope it doesn't take Green too long to regain his dominant form to help his new team with a postseason push.