The Columbus Dispatch

Reds’ Greene wants to win ‘just as much as the fans’

- Charlie Goldsmith

MESA, Ariz. – Since the Cincinnati Reds drafted the young phenom who had already been on the cover of Sports Illustrate­d, starting pitcher Hunter Greene has been the face of the team’s future.

Through two long rebuilds, Greene’s potential was as big of a reason as any that the Reds could turn the franchise around. Greene has always embraced high expectatio­ns. His 100-plus mph fastball, emotional presence on the mound and commitment to the community around him made him a potential franchise player.

The future is now for Greene. In his second season in MLB, Greene will be the Reds’ opening day starter and face the Pittsburgh Pirates on March 30. At just 23 years old, as one of the youngest starting pitchers in MLB, Greene is taking up the mantle for a young Reds team that believes it can move on from last year’s 100-loss season and begin to turn the corner.

“Knowing the history here, I know the potential is there to bring it back,” Greene said. “(Cincinnati) is a baseball city. We know that we’ve got to go out there and win. 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 revealed the news after pitching four shutout innings against the Chicago Cubs. Greene carried a no-hitter into the fourth inning, and he lost it on a 30-foot single that landed barely in

front of the catcher.

Greene’s fastball was in midseason form, consistent­ly forcing awkward, late swings from Cubs hitters. But after the game, Greene was more excited about his off-speed pitches, which he used to work out of a jam in the first inning and a jam in the fourth inning.

Greene’s slider was his best pitch in 2022, and he used that pitch for two crucial strikeouts. The bigger developmen­t was his change-up, which Greene has prioritize­d focusing on this spring. In a trend that continued against the Cubs, Greene was able to use that pitch that he hardly threw last season and land it for strikes early in the count.

“I want to be one of the best pitchers in the game,” Greene said. “As I watch Scherzer, degrom, Verlander, Sandy (Alcantara), they take a lot of pride in their secondary pitches. Their secondary pitches are just as impressive as their high velocity. I’ve recognized that. I’m trying to build on that as much as I can.”

Since he debuted last season, Greene has impressed Reds manager David Bell with his poise, confidence and his willingnes­s to learn. Bell noticed how Greene handled expectatio­ns effortless­ly. Bell watched Greene be “openminded” and constantly ask questions about how he could get better.

“He’s a perfect representa­tive of our team and the city,” Bell said. “He doesn’t just say that. He shows it with his actions. Not only on our team but in our community. He cares about other people. He cares about his teammates. He goes out of his way to make a difference. As hard as he works for himself, he works harder for other people.”

 ?? SAM GREENE/THE ENQUIRER ?? The Reds’ Hunter Greene has been working on his off-speed pitches to become “one of the best pitchers in the game.”
SAM GREENE/THE ENQUIRER The Reds’ Hunter Greene has been working on his off-speed pitches to become “one of the best pitchers in the game.”

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