It takes a lot for baseball fans in St. Louis to boo one of its own. Maybe the final straw came when Tyler Greene watched a ball go through his legs last night during the 6th inning. Maybe. The E4 allowed 2 runs to score, although the situation likely dictated that at least 1 would score on a fielder’s choice, even if he had fielded the ball cleanly. After all, the bases were loaded with no outs, but that’s Tyler Greene’s fault anyway. Sure, the error moved the win probability for the Giants from 94% to 98%, but we all know that the error sealed the team’s fate.
It should be noted that Greene’s defensive miscue and ineptitude at the plate also held 7 other position players hitless for much of the game as well. If you really look at the game closely, you can find a whole host of other things for which Greene can become the scapegoat.
- He called a terrible game. He just couldn’t figure out how to properly relay the signs to Joe Kelly. The ensuing confusion caused widespread panic in the stadium each time Yadier Molina felt it necessary to visit the mound.
- He made a huge mistake in waiting too long to get Barret Browning up to warm up in the bullpen. The distance from his position at 2B and the bullpen phone was significant, but he could have relayed the message via Carlos Beltran in right field.
- Greene’s move to bring in Mitchell Boggs to pitch in essentially a meaningless situation was hardly brilliant. Greene deserves all the blame for Boggs losing his scoreless appearance streak.
- Tyler really hurt the team by suggesting a “whack at the first pitch you see” approach to hitting against Ryan Vogelsong. On the other hand, he also acquitted himself poorly by forcing everyone to contemplate staring at called 3rd strikes as well.
- Honestly, I am hard pressed to find a good reason for Greene staying in the dugout while home plate umpire Tim McClelland consistently went with a rhombus-shaped strike zone. Any manager worth his salt has to go out and kick a little dirt every once in a while. The reasonable approach just doesn’t cut it at times. Greene had every right to push Mike Matheny out of the dugout and into harm’s way.
- Finally, Greene deserves all the blame for Joe Kelly’s 2-base error that allowed Pagan to advance from 1B to 3B. Just terrible decision-making by Greene to call for a pickoff play like that.
Some could probably find even more things to blame on Greene, but it might be time to start pointing the finger at a few others as well. Who takes the blame for the Cardinals having a noticeable dearth of right-handed hitters available off the bench? Who among the organization’s elite deserves a smack on the hand for the team’s obvious lack of speed? Who do the fans get to blame for the lack of quality middle infield depth? Why has the team stuck with Greene for so long, yet failed to realize that he does not thrive in his typical role?
- 2009 – 48 games, 116 plate appearances
- 2010 – 44 games, 122 plate appearances
- 2011 – 58 games, 122 plate appearances
- 2012 – 77 games, 197 plate appearances
Sure, all this amounts to 227 games and 556 plate appearances spread out over 4 long years. The part-time approach simply does not worth with Tyler Greene. That does not mean he will thrive as a full-time starter, either. It just means that he likely won’t thrive as a bench player who gets a few starts here and there. He could use a fresh start elsewhere, and the members of Cardinal Nation who have reached the boiling point where Greene is concerned could use one as well. However, I’m willing to bet that Greene won’t clear waivers. Greene could help a team like Milwaukee, and he could some team’s answer to several questions not limited to shortstop and second base. With his speed and reasonably good arm, he could be a really useful defensive substitution in the outfield. Freeing Tyler Greene makes a lot of sense for many reasons, but don’t be surprised if he goes to another team and becomes a competent .250 hitter with occasional power. He still has that potential.
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