Yankees RHP Chad Green has 15 strikeouts and has allowed just two hits in 7 1/3 innings over his last four outings, as he has turned into one of manager Joe Girardi's more reliable relievers.
"His control has been outstanding, and his fastball plays up out of the bullpen, and his slider has been good out of the bullpen," Girardi said, according to the New York Post's Ken Davidoff, after Green retired all seven batters he faced in Monday's 7-4 win over the Baltimore Orioles.. "Similar to Dellin [Betances], it's been simplifying. He doesn't need to be a three- or four-pitch pitcher anymore. He's just been a two-pitch guy, and it's been successful for him."
While Green went 2-4 with a 4.73 ERA in 12 appearances (eight starts) last year, he has primarily been used as a middle and long reliever this season after LHP Jordan Montgomery won the final rotation spot out of spring training.
Green entered a 5-3 game after Montgomery walked Manny Machado on four pitches and got Jonathan Schoop to fly out to end the inning. He retired the next six batters, striking out the side in the seventh inning.
"I thought Montgomery pitched a pretty good game today, but I knew I had Chad Green rested," Girardi said.
Because he is used as a reliever, Green has thrown his fastball more often this season, saying in most cases he'll only face a lineup once through the order, so he doesn't need to mix up his pitches as much.
"I have 40-50 pitches to work with instead of 100," said Green, who has a 1.97 ERA in 32 appearances this season.
Added catcher Austin Romine: "He attacks guys, and he's got a live fastball. He comes at you and lets it eat."
Despite demoting Aroldis Chapman out of the closer role, the Yankees still boast Betances, David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle in the back end of the bullpen. And while the 25-year-old Green spent most of his minor-league career as a starter, he said he is comfortable where he is.
"Right now," Green said, "I'm obviously happy where I'm at. But in the future, we'll worry about that later."