Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Sports

April 24, 2014

Green settling into Whitecaps rotation

Effingham alum pitching for Tigers' West Michigan affiliate

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Since inking his pro deal, Effingham and University of Louisville alum Chad Green has donned a number of different jerseys.

In just over a year, Green's played for the Gulf Coast League Tigers, the Lakeland Flying Tigers, the West Michigan Whitecaps and, even just for a day or two, the Detroit Tigers.

Green, now assigned to the Tigers' Low-A team in Grand Rapids, has said embracing the routine after a whirlwind 2013 for him has helped in early success with the Whitecaps.

"Just getting a routine is the main part, I'm still getting used to it," he said. "It's going good so far, I can't complain"

The assignment came after a successful stint in minor league spring training, where he even pitched an inning against the New York Yankees as a member of the Detroit Tigers in late February.

It was quite the experience for the area righty, who a year prior was pitching at the University of Louisville.

"It was awesome getting to pitch in a big-league game with all the pro coaches," he said. "It was really cool, getting to sit in the bullpen with some of the big leaguers and in the clubhouse with guys like (Miguel) Cabrera and Torii Hunter."

Now, after pitching Wednesday afternoon, Green's been part of a strong and touted rotation for the Whitecaps.

He tossed seven innings against the Bowling Green Hot Rods, allowing four runs on seven hits in seven innings. He has a 3.75 ERA on the year, and sits with a 0-0 record in 24 innings pitched.

His first start of the year was the Whitecaps' first game of the year, earning the opening day nod against the Dayton Dragons. He also started Louisville's first game of the season in 2013.

It was his worst start of the year, allowing four runs in four innings pitched.

"It obviously wasn't my best outing, so that kind of rained on my parade a little bit," Green said. (But) it got the adrenaline going."

Since then, he's pitched stronger, adjusting to the Midwest League.

Again, for pro players, it's about routine, and nothing about last year was routine.

He started for Louisville, pitched deep into the postseason and was part of a Cardinal team that made the College World Series. After signing, he was briefly assigned to the GCL Tigers.

Green was then promoted to Lakeland, the Tigers' High-A team, in the same city as the GCL team and with some conditions. He tossed just 20.1 innings in 12 appearances across both teams, with a 3.54 ERA, a 4-0 record and a save to his credit.

"I started in rookie ball for a week and stayed in Lakeland for a couple months," he said. "A lot of innings limits, I couldn't throw too much but it was nice to get my feet wet and experience pro ball."

It's still an unfamiliar place and league but he has some help. His current teammate and rotation-mate, Jeff Thompson, played with him at Louisville and the two live together with a host family.

Pitching well has obviously been priority number one. But priority number two hasn't been far behind for the Heart turned Whitecap.

"The main thing is I'm trying to enjoy it, going to day-to-day," he said. "It's been pretty much everything I expected."

 

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