Chad Green to the starting rotation. Yankees making a HUGE mistake.

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 13: Chad Green (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 13: Chad Green (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

The New York Yankees are giving dominant reliever Chad Green a shot at the starting rotation in spring training. What are they thinking?

As if his dominance coming out of the bullpen wasn’t enough, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has announced that reliever Chad Green will be competing for a spot in the starting rotation with the possibility of falling back into the bullpen depending on well he does.

For many Yankee fans alike, this actually is not good news. With the exception of a hiccup in Game 2 of the ALDS, Chad Green has been one of, if not the most dominant reliever, not only in the loaded Yankees bullpen but in all of baseball.

Green enjoyed one of the most dominant seasons ever by a reliever, going 5-0 with a 1.83 ERA, 0.74 WHIP, and 103 strikeouts in 69 innings pitched. Green, who was a starter during his minor league career, posted a 4.73 ERA in five starts as a member of the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders’ rotation in 2017.

There are times when relievers show promise of potentially becoming starters based on their ability to get more than six outs but like the old saying goes, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” That saying should resonate with the Yankees now more than ever.

When asked what clicked for him in terms of transforming from a no-named starter to an elite major league reliever Green’s response was, “Something just clicked, really. I guess the location is probably a little better this year. But other than that, I’m not doing anything too different than I’ve done in the past. It’s just this year, my location with my pitches has taken me to the next step.”

Aside from his deadly accurate command, his fiery fastball has caused problems for both left and right-handed hitters as he’s been able to successfully add an extra mile or two on his fastball after converting to a reliever.

In 2016, he threw his fastball 39.2 percent of the time. This year, he threw his heater 65.3 percent of the time. Although hitters know what’s coming, they can’t hit Green because he doesn’t have to worry about being a four-pitch pitcher. He can now hone in on two pitches and perfect them. Mariano Rivera dominated his whole career off one pitch, the cut fastball.

Speaking of Mariano, the Yankees had the same dilemma in 1996, deciding whether or not they wanted to move Mo to the rotation with John Wetteland manning the closer role. However, George Steinbrenner listened to his advisers and left Mariano in the bullpen which would eventually prove to be the right move as he went on to become the greatest closer in baseball history.

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Now, to say Green would formulate the same career as Rivera is getting a little ahead of ourselves. But if we look back on another reliever who the Yankees meddled with, having him go from a reliever to starter and then back to a reliever, we can look at the situation with Joba Chamberlain.

Joba Chamberlain burst onto the scene in 2007 as a young flame throwing reliever that blew fastballs and a filthy slider past opposing hitters. It wasn’t until the Steinbrenners felt it was necessary to move him to the rotation that Joba slowly went from phenom to just your average major league pitcher.

By moving Chamberlain from reliever to starter to reliever, the back and forth and changing of roles ruined his psyche and ultimately ruined his career. Joba’s 2008 arm troubles should have been a slap-you-in-the-face wake-up call to change strategies. With patience and proper nurturing from Mariano Rivera, there’s no telling what Joba could have been for the Yankees for years to come.

Chad Green proved how valuable he is to this young Yankees ballclub. Hopefully, someone in the front office will step in and realize that they already have potential starters in Justus Sheffield and Chance Adams making waves in the minors as well as Jordan Montgomery on the backend of the rotation.

With the potential free agent signing of Shohei Otani and re-signing of CC Sabathia, this move really doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. If the New York Yankees want to win a World Series title, then Chad Green the reliever will be needed to help dominate in the latter parts of the game.

Next: What Chad Green entering starting rotation means for Yankees

The last thing Yankee fans need is another stud reliever having the same fate as Joba Chamberlain. Sorry, Joba.