Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers – #5 Taylor Green

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High five!

Sorry, but I think I had to start the blog that way. I had something else worked up but it felt wrong so I went corny. Regardless, the fact holds true that we are just five excruciating days away from Opening Day at Miller Park on Monday, April 1st.

Today, unfortunately, we take a look at someone who has had the unfortunate circumstance of having been placed on the 15-day disabled list to start the season. That man is…

TaylorGreen

Taylor Green.

After making his big league debut late in the 2011 season, Taylor Green yo-yo’ed a bit between Nashville and Milwaukee during the 2012 season. He started the season with the Nashville Sounds after missing out on a 25-man roster spot when some veteran backups (like Travis Ishikawa) were kept on instead. Following Mat Gamel’s season-ending knee injury (the one in 2012, not this year’s edition), Green was recalled to the Brewers on May 5th. He started at first base a little before the Brewers committed to playing Corey Hart there every day, but Green began to slow down at the plate in his limited role (.198 AVG in 81 at-bats but .233 in May and only .167 in June) so the Brewers sent him back to Nashville to get him increased playing time.

As a sidebar, Green has appeared over-matched at the plate throughout his big league career to a certain degree but all that has told me over that time is that he simply isn’t suited to the role of a pinch-hitter. When Green first came up in 2011, he recorded a base hit in his first plate appearance and hit very well right away, but the more he sat, the more off his timing became and he just couldn’t get it going again while mostly sitting.

So, back to 2012. Green was optioned back down on July 8th to regain his timing and get more steady work at the new-to-him position of first base just in case they needed him down the road in 2012. Green was then recalled to the big leagues on September 6th, after spending nearly two months in Triple-A. He had begun to hit again before the recall which is exactly the Brewers wanted.

Unfortunately, as Green was back to primarily a bench role, he floundered down the stretch. It takes a special breed to truly excel in a role with limited playing time. It’s why guys like Mark Kotsay continue to get jobs. He’s reliable as a spot starter and pinch-hitter.

Green is good defensively at his natural position of third base, he plays a capable keystone, and has been learning first base since last season. In an effort to improve his versatility he even played from outfield corner in the Liga de Beisbol Dominicano for the Leones de Escogido. He hit .300 in the Dominican, for what it’s worth.

Coming into 2013, Green looked primed to break camp on the 25-man roster for the first time. Corey Hart was hurt, Mat Gamel would be starting at first, and other than shortstop (which Green cannot play), the most experienced, and versatile bench hitter available was Green. Then, the better news for Taylor was that Gamel would miss the season which opened up a starting job. In case you were skimming earlier, regular playing time is what’s best for Green to stay sharp at the plate. It was all coming together.

Green left Brewers camp to play with his native Canada in the World Baseball Classic. The original worry was that he’d miss a bunch of at-bats as a reserve. But fortune would shine again as Brett Lawrie succumbed to injury and Green became the starting third baseman for Canada. They would only play three games but Green played well in them.

Luck would run out for Green though as prior to a game back at Brewers camp, he would injure his hip which has caused him to land on the disabled list to begin the season.

In the meantime, Alex Gonzalez has taken to first base quickly, Blake Lalli has hit very well this spring and may have earned himself a spot on the team, and prospect Khris Davis has opened many an eye during the Cactus League to perhaps play his way onto the roster sooner rather than later. In other words, what once seemed to be a lot of timely confluence has resulted in a likely optioning once Green is healthy. Obviously things can change between now and then, but assuming everything is the same on April 1st as it is once Green is healthy, it would appear likely to see him making his season debut in a game for the Sounds as opposed to the Brewers. That’s just the way the ball bounces sometimes.

Do I think Taylor Green will contribute positively to the Milwaukee Brewers in 2013? Absolutely I do. Will it be early on? That I must doubt.

Miss anyone along the way? Catch up on the Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers profiles to this point:

1 Comment

Nice work on the Taylor Green comments….you’re absolutely right…once he gets a real shot at playing everyday he will prove himself to be a solid big leaguer. Nice to see you acknowledge how difficult it is to sit and come in and hit the closers..pretty tough job for anyone! Good luck Taylor….you’re the only player to win the Brewers Minor League player of the year twice!

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