Reds announce Hunter Greene as 2023 Opening Day starter
Six years after his selection in the first round of the MLB Draft, Greene will take the mound on Opening Day in Cincinnati.
CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Reds phenom pitcher Hunter Greene will take the mound on Opening Day to begin Cincinnati’s 2023 MLB season.
Opening Day is Thursday, March 30. The Reds will face the Pirates at 4:10 p.m. at Great American Ball Park.
“[Cincinnati] is a baseball city. We know that we got to go out there and win,” Greene said after pitching four scoreless innings Thursday. “We’re working extremely hard. We want to win just as much as the fans. We want to bring that atmosphere back to the city. That’s the most exciting part, knowing the potential.”
Greene, 23, went second overall to the Reds in the 2017 MLB Draft.
He is going into his second MLB season after a rookie campaign in which he occasionally dazzled but struggled early with consistency, going 1-5 with a 7.62 ERA and allowing 11 home runs in his first six starts.
Greene improved over the next few months and was lights-out to end the year after sitting all of August and part of September with a right shoulder strain.
He had the highest average four-seem fastball velocity (98.9 mph) in the MLB last year. [More]
Greene has used this spring training to work on his changeup and slider.
Greene spoke earlier this week of trying to draw more weak and early contact in at-bats while being mindful of his pitch count. He has also said he added endurance training to his off-season exercises to improve his chances of getting through a full season.
“I think the most exciting part is my work ethic, knowing I’m putting the work in [so] when I do step in between those lines, there is no doubt that I’m going to be able to dominate and make an impact on the game. All of that comes into play with your preparation in the offseason and spring training,” Greene said during a Bally Sports Cincinnati interview. “I always stay this: If you work your butt off, if you put all the reps in and time in, when you get on the field, it should be the easy part. You should be able to look to your right and left and say, ‘I’m better prepared than you, and I’m going to go after you.’”
The pitching rotation following Greene’s start will be Nick Lodolo followed by Graham Ashcraft.
“He earned it,” Reds manager David Bell said of Greene. “We have a couple other guys that we couldn’t have gone wrong with, with Nick and Graham. It was an honor to tell Hunter that news. He understands what it means. [...]He passed all the tests last year and got better as the year went.”
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