It’s no secret that the Detroit Tigers have had some issues when it comes to the 9th inning and closing out games in recent years. From Joaquin Benoit to Joe Nathan, to Francisco “K-Rod” Rodriquez and Justin Wilson, the team has been searching for consistency in the back-end of the bullpen.
After the Tigers traded Wilson at the trade deadline last year, Shane Greene took over the closer role and performed well over the last two months of the season. He finished with nine saves and a 2.66 ERA in 67 2/3 innings of work.
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It’s hard to believe that Greene has been in a Tigers uniform since 2014 when he arrived via trade from the New York Yankees. He’s gone from being a starter to a long reliever, to set-up man, and now a closer. Mix in a couple stints on the disabled list, and a couple of trips to Toledo and here we are with Greene heading into 2018 as our only established closer.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Greene believes the closer role is his job to lose:
“I don’t know if my role will change,” Greene said Saturday during TigerFest at Comerica Park. “I would say that walking into the clubhouse in spring training that the closer job is mine to lose. Having said that, everybody here wants to win. I’ve also proven I can pitch in the fifth, sixth, seventh inning when the game is on the line and do pretty good.”
The Tigers avoided arbitration with Greene this offseason when he signed a one-year, $1.95 million for 2018. He will be a free agent in 2021.
Greene went on to say that he’s excited about the next couple of years with the Tigers:
“All we gotta do is score more runs than the other team,” Greene said. “It’s a pretty easy game. We’re going to show up and compete and see how it goes.”
“Whatever I make is going to be fine for me. I’m looking forward to the new few years to kind of build that case and continue to prove myself to the rest of the league.”
Nation do you think Shane Greene ends up being the Tiger closer for all of 2018? I think he’s up for the task and will provide some much-needed consistency for this young Tigers team.