“I just want to give our team a chance to win,” he said. “Being able to throw six, seven innings every time I pitch. I don’t want to have to use the bullpen, I try to save them for the rest of the weekend.”
After Green was used primarily in relief duty and certain starting roles last spring, he went to work this offseason developing a stronger arsenal of pitches to help him face all kinds of batters. That, coupled with a determined mindset to keep the bullpen at bay, has paid dividends in his growth on the mound.
“I’ve been working on secondary pitches,” he said. “That’s the biggest thing, being able to go through the order three or four times. I’ve worked on my consistency, my off-speed pitches.”
Green has come a long way since his days as a Flaming Heart, where he was drafted in the 37th round of the 2010 MLB Rule 4 draft by the Toronto Blue Jays. He struggled with the decision of whether to turn pro back then, but he now has no regrets about his decision to play major-college ball.
“I can’t complain at all,” he said. “It’s the best decision I could have made. I don’t think I was ready for pro ball, for that lifestyle. It was a great decision to come here.”
Green credits the Cardinal coaching staff for helping him make the jump to the college level, not just in dealing with life on the mound, but also how to conduct himself when he hangs up his cleats at the end of the day.
“They obviously teach you the game of baseball, but they also give you life lessons,” he said. “It’s about a lot more than baseball. It’s just that mental side of the game.”