Free Tyler Greene!
The Memphis Redbirds end their season today, and Tyler Greene should have his bags already packed for the trip to St. Louis. Greene deserves that promotion after scorching the Pacific Coast League all summer. After being demoted in mid-June, Greene hit .323/.424/.584, which is tantalizing. Of course, Greene has always hit well in the minors.
The problem seems to come whenever Greene enters the
doghouse clubhouse of one Tony LaRussa. In parts of three seasons, Greene has hit a paltry .213 with an on-base percentage of .303. I would expect a child to have a better on-base percentage than that. His defense hasn’t been great either, with a fielding percentage of .956 (the exact same percentage as Ryan Theriot this year).
At least part of the problem with Greene involves confidence while laboring under the unblinking, hateful gaze of TLR. Greene has never been given The Shot at shortstop. He’s never been told by TLR, “Tyler, you’re the shortstop and that’s that.” Of course, TLR never says that to anyone who isn’t Latino or 41 years old. In TLR’s worldview, a player must “pay his dues” at the big club and “earn respect” and “eagerly lick the manager’s bunghole” and other such rules. It’s like being the new guy in a chain gang.
And so, given Greene’s age and lack of twenty years of major league experience, he’s been used sporadically. Greene has been used mostly as lineup filler (especially this year) and a late-inning replacement. For instance, in 2011 Greene has played in 51 games so far, but only has 19 complete games. Only five times this year has Greene started multiple games in a row. How can any player develop a rhythm under those circumstances?
The time has come for the organization to figure out what to do with Tyler Greene. And I think John Mozeliak realizes this, too. He made this comment to the Post Dispatch recently:
Mozeliak, who met with his staff Wednesday morning and then with manager Tony La Russa after Wednesday’s game, said, “I would like to see Tyler Greene get more of an opportunity to play, just so we can have a better idea for planning 2012.”
Of course, Mozeliak’s logical comment was met with the highest form of disdain from LaLawyer, who wasted no time in hissing out this rebuttal:
Whatever that means on an individual basis, you add it up, but I don’t think (general manager John Mozeliak) is talking about a wholesale Triple-A roster playing games while other guys are sitting. I don’t think that’s what he means. My number one priority is for this group of guys and this organization to establish that we’re going to be a real tough club to play in September. You don’t do that by pulling playing time from guys that deserve to pitch and play. You give it to the guys that deserve to play.
In other words, F*CK YOU JOHN MOZELIAK AND YOUR “PLANS.”
The move to obtain Rafael Furcal to play shortstop was a good one at the moment – we were still in the hunt for the division at that time - but it now creates a problem in getting playing time for the younger, healthier, and cheaper Greene. As this season winds down into oblivion, one of our biggest priorities needs to be playing Greene in order to see what he can actually do with three weeks of solid playing time, preferably at the top of the lineup.
More than anything, the organization needs to figure out what to do with this guy. They’re wasting his best years shuttling him back and forth between clubs when he could be helping us or another team. Either force TLR to play Greene from here on out, or trade him. There aren’t any other options left anymore.