2019 Atlanta Braves Player Review: Shane Greene

From All-Star closer to fans considering him as a non-tender candidate.  Shane Greene had himself quite a year. After starting the season with the Tigers and earning his way to the all-star game, Greene was traded to the Braves at the deadline (literally, it was less than an hour before the buzzer). Many people, myself included, didn’t love to see the Braves part with Joey Wentz. Wentz was one of the best LHP prospects in the system, but getting Greene for the rest of the season plus 2020 was worth it.

In his first 3 innings with the Braves, Greene gave up 5 ER, the same number he gave up in 38 innings for Detroit. His first two outings were a blown save and a loss; after another blown save against the Marlins in his fifth Braves outing, he was relegated to the setup role. In less than ten days, closing games became Mark Melancon’s job. After those outings he settled in nicely, giving up only 4 runs in his last 20.1 innings. Overall, Greene was worth 2.1 bWAR in 2019 which put him at 17th among all MLB relievers.

The 2019 NLDS

Greene pitched out of a jam in game 1, getting two pop outs with a man on third. Unfortunately for the Braves however, Greene’s most memorable inning of work was in game 4 of the NLDS. After giving up a bloop double to Goldy, he rebounded and struck out Ozuna. Then Molina hit a single that was just off of Freddie’s outstretched glove and the tying run scored. He then struck out Carpenter, but the game was tied. Two very lucky hits in the same inning for the Cards led to the Braves demise.

Bullpen Construction

Greene is estimated to make $6.5M in 2020. This figure appeared a bit too steep for some Braves fans after the signing of Will Smith. However, that is a very reasonable amount for a reliever that was worth over 2 WAR last season. As we saw on Monday, Greene was tendered a contract and for good reason: he is likely the second-best reliever in the bullpen now. While Smith is likely the closer, this is a bullpen full of closers! Smith, Greene or Melancon could all easily pitch in the 9th.

What’s next?

Fangraphs has Greene projected 72 innings with a 4.06 ERA and worth 0.5 WAR. It will be interesting to see how he does, as in 2016 and 2018 he had ERAs north of 5, but in 2017 and 2019 they were in the 2s. I would bet on a 2/low 3 mark and be more than happy with it. No matter how the final roster shakes out, I for one am very excited for another season of Greene’s nasty slider at the back-end of the bullpen!

Author: Matt P

Hello, I’m Matt Pocza! I am a 4th year finance and economics student at the University of Florida and I love the Atlanta Braves. I’ve played baseball my entire life, and I am a sidearm pitcher for the club team at Florida. I also enjoy scuba diving, football and business. Follow me on twitter @braves_rumors!

32 thoughts on “2019 Atlanta Braves Player Review: Shane Greene”

  1. @2 thanks! I was born in Florida so had to go back to my roots. I was at the Florida-Georgia game this year and it was a great time other than the ending.

    I think the biggest thing hurting Murph’s HOF argument is the invisible WAR threshold. He only made it to 46 WAR, besides the 2 MVPs and 5ish other seasons he was a pretty average player and it sadly appears to have cost him. His OPS after 87 dropped significantly

  2. Florida, never been a fan of UGA even though I grew up in Atlanta. Since baseball was my favorite sport I gravitated to the Braves but for other sports I tended to stick with the Florida teams.

  3. I like Shane Greene…but I’d trade he and Ender in a heartbeat if it meant Braves could get a stud 3B and OFer.

  4. The WAR threshold really just captures the actual shape of Murph’s career: he was the best non-Mike Schmidt player in baseball for much of a decade, but not a full decade, and then he basically had no “decline phase,” he just completely fell off a cliff and stopped piling up counting stats.

    It was pretty similar to Andruw Jones’s career path, in that neither of them had a decline phase, but Jones’s peak was substantially longer. (He actually had a very similar career to Wally Berger, too.)

    If Murph had an injury as an explanation, like Koufax or Puckett, he might have squeaked in. As it was, though, he was just a magnificent player who got way too old too soon.

    But all the same, he’s an immortal already. He will never, ever be forgotten by Atlanta fans. That’s enough.

  5. It’s becoming such a big Hall, so if someone doesn’t get in the Hall, there really can’t be much of a beef. They really screwed the pooch, though, with Baines.

  6. That deal with Strasburg is insane. $80M in deferred payments (think about it for a second: the deferred comp in this deal is bigger than the largest free agent contract in Braves history!)

    Unlike the Scherzer deal which I thought was very good from a team standpoint, this one looks like a disaster waiting to happen. Oh, and I’m guessing Rendon won’t be back :)

  7. Deferred means that money costs less. It’s what the Nats tried to do with Harper — give him a deal that seemed like a big number but actually is a lot less than it seems.

    This deal feels a lot like the Greinke deal to me. It’s a bunch of money, but he’s worth a bunch of money.

  8. So I cleared my cookies, and I’m still having problems accessing new posts from the home page. Do I need to clear out all of my browsing data?

    UPDATE: I only cleared my cookies, not my cached data. I’m good now.

  9. Just saw this from MLBTR via DOB.

    “The Braves, one of Philly’s rivals, are also looking to address their infield. Third base is high atop the team’s wish list, GM Alex Anthopoulos revealed, as David O’Brien of The Athletic tweets. Ideally, the club will land a “big bat” there (Josh Donaldson, one of the Braves’ premier players in 2019, is a free agent). They’re also seeking a defensively capable backup at the hot corner. If the Braves aren’t able to find a high-impact hitter for the position, though, Anthopoulos indicated they’re open to adding one in their outfield.”

    I understand the part about “big bat” and JD and/or outfield, but the part about “defensively capable backup” seems very odd. I thought Camargo was a great defensive 3B. Also, Culby was a good defensive IF too. Riley’s not bad defensively either. Just a weird statement to me.

    Does anyone else find that odd?

  10. @23 AA is good at the doublespeak, but I also believe this is where the 26th man could come into play. Teams can afford to have an extra defensive minded guy. Same could be said for the back 1B types that have struggled to find jobs recently.

  11. AA also stated there are some good bats via the Rule 5 draft that could be enticing this year. On the podcast last night, we discussed Jose Rojas, who’s a big 3B with light tower power and a good bb and k rate.

  12. @23 – DOB corrected that to a defensive minded shortstop, but that doesn’t make any sense to me either. As early and often as we go to the bullpen, that 26th player is best utilized as a pinch-hit bat.

    What are we going to do with a defensive minded bench shortstop? That means either planning to pinch hit for Dansby often, or they believe he requires a defensive sub. If either one’s what they believe, we might as well just move Ozzie back over there.

  13. Braves don’t have the opportunity to play with a short bench in 2020 as there has to be 13 position players. I think Adeiny will be back.

  14. @26 But you have to have someone who can back up Dansby. Even with Culberson and Camargo last year, they still had to get Hech. Gotta have that type of guy. Fortunately, a defensive minded SS can generally play a couple or more other positions.

    @27 Yep.

  15. @27, 28 – Maybe I wasn’t clear, let me say that the fewer at bats the starting pitcher gets, the more pinch hitters you need. So I think that 26th player will come into play as a bat more often than anything. I don’t want a short bench, even if it were possible.

    Certainly we need someone who can back up Dansby; I would prefer Camargo for that. I still believe Camargo has upside. Hech has 0 upside.

  16. @30 I mostly agree with you. Hech has no upside and isn’t exciting for me or anyone. Ideally we can get someone who plays great defense and can hit a little.

    I hope Camargo bounces back, but he was so bad (specifically defensively) at SS last year…lots of plays where he seemed not very focused to me. Hopefully he gets back to his 2018 self.

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