The New York Yankees suffered a big blow to their relief corps this weekend. Veteran pitcher Chad Green is done for the season and likely beyond, as he requires Tommy John surgery. Green has been one of the team’s more reliable relief pitchers for several years. With Aroldis Chapman struggling again, the last thing that New York needed was a hit to their bullpen depth. Since it’s unclear when Chapman will regain his form, the pressure will be on Jonathan Loaisiga, Michael King, and Clay Holmes to carry the Yankees pen for the time being.
Chad Green Needs Tommy John Surgery
The news that Green will undergo season-ending surgery was announced by manager Aaron Boone on Sunday. One day prior, Green was placed on the 15-day IL with what was thought to be a right elbow strain. He exited Thursday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles with elbow soreness. Green had been pitching to a 3.00 ERA (his lowest figure since 2018) in 14 appearances this season. In 15 innings pitched, he compiled 16 strikeouts while surrendering 13 hits and only one homer. With the emergence of King and Holmes as top relievers, Green’s role was mostly middle relief rather than setup man.
The injury is somewhat surprising considering Green’s durability. His last IL stint was in 2016. Since then, he has been one of the Yankees’ top relievers. Across seven seasons, all with the Bombers, Green is 33–22 with a 3.17 ERA, a 1.022 WHIP, and an 11.6 K/9 ratio. Green is set to become a free agent this offseason, and needless to say, this long-term injury likely harms his value.
With Green on the shelf, the Yankees will need to reshuffle the bullpen. Even before Aroldis Chapman took the loss in the first leg of Sunday’s doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox, it appeared he was being temporarily removed from the closer role. He may now be ticketed for Green’s role, pitching in either the sixth or seventh inning, or in mop-up duty. Loaisiga is a good righty candidate to split these duties with Chapman. Michael King has emerged as an outstanding hybrid setup man/long reliever, and Holmes has been excellent when given save opportunities. Luckily, the Yankees’ depth seemingly has them well-prepared for this situation. Still, losing Green is tough, especially for him as he heads into free agency.
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