When Chad Green found out he needed Tommy John surgery in May 2022, while pitching for the Yankees, he figured his baseball career was over.
He was about to become a free agent, so it was the worst time for the injury, but the Blue Jays took a flier on Green, signing him with the hope he would join their bullpen for a postseason push.
Now, with Toronto clinging to an AL wild-card spot, Green’s season remains in its early stages.
He has pitched eight games and compiled a 7.36 ERA since making his debut Sept. 1, though he did not pitch Tuesday as Toronto beat the Yankees 7-1 in The Bronx.
“His last couple outings, I think he’s throwing the ball the best we’ve seen and looks basically like the Chad Green that we saw for so many years here in New York,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said.
There wasn’t a turning point at which Green felt back to normal while recovering, he said.
Sometimes, there were good days that resembled his 3.17 ERA and 11.6 strikeouts per nine innings across 272 Yankees outings.
Former Yankee Chad Green has struggled with the debut since making his debut with the team on Sept. 1.USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con
Other times, he said he thought, “That definitely won’t work up here.”
Green had become a different pitcher, too.
Green’s fastball always blended rise, cut and velocity, and this season, he has thrown his curveball at a 38 percent rate — the highest percentage in his career — to complement it.
“He was a guy that comes in and he throws a lot of strikes, and especially with his fastball, he was basically unhittable,” former teammate Tommy Kahnle told The Post. “It was fun to watch.”
The Yankees are approaching a decision on Everson Pereira and are hoping to avoid placing him on the injured list.
The young outfielder missed a fifth straight game Tuesday with a “low-grade” hamstring strain, manager Aaron Boone said.
The Yankees are hoping to avoid putting Everson Pereira on the injured list, which would end his season.Getty Images
Pereira took batting practice and was doing “pretty well,” Boone added, but he was not deemed ready yet to return to action.
Pereira slipped on stairs during the Yankees’ series at Boston last week and has not played since Thursday.
Time is running short for Pereira to prove himself in his first taste of the majors, with less than two weeks of the season remaining.
“We’ll make the [injured list] call probably here in the next couple of days,” Boone said. “Hoping that we can kind of push through with it, and he’s available sooner rather than later.”
The 22-year-old Pereira sailed through Double-A Somerset and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this year, with a combined .921 OPS and 18 home runs in 81 games, before making his debut Aug. 22, when the Yankees gave up on this season and opted to look at their top prospects.
Pereira has handled left field well but has yet to hit major league pitching, going 10-for-70 (.143) with three doubles in his first 21 big-league games.
Oswaldo Cabrera started in left field and went 0-for-3 as the Yankees explore whether some of their unproven talents can make an early case for left-field time next season.
Anthony Misiewicz (concussion) was still feeling symptoms but was “in really good spirits,” Boone said, four days after the 28-year-old lefty took a line drive to the face.
Misiewicz, who was drilled by a comebacker on Friday in Pittsburgh, is back with the team and saw neurologist Dr. Anthony Alessi on Monday.
“I would say overall, considering [what happened], doing pretty well,” Boone said. “But not able to do a whole lot.”
Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who had not started since Sept. 12, and Kyle Higashioka, who had not played since Thursday, returned to the starting lineup.
Both righty hitters were slotted in against Toronto lefty Yusei Kikuchi.
Kiner-Falefa started in center field, threw out George Springer at second base and went 1-for-3. Higashioka went 0-for-2.
Aaron Judge, who went 2-for-4 with a run, has reached base in 27 of 63 plate appearances over his past 14 games, posting a .429 OBP in that span.