Shane Greene's role as Tigers' closer also in flux

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News
Tigers pitcher Shane Greene has had only two save opportunities since the end of August.

Kansas City, Mo — What happens to a closer on a rebuilding team? It’s a question the next manager of the Tigers will have to decide regarding Shane Greene.

“In terms of my personal goals, to have the opportunity to be called the closer was cool,” Greene said. “But I want to win. I don’t really care what my role is, as long as we’re winning. Obviously, we’re rebuilding right now.

“So, I don’t know what the future is going to hold for me or anyone else in this clubhouse.”

He’s had just two save opportunities since the end of August, and just 11 since he was named the closer on Aug. 1. You can’t imagine his workload would be any heavier in a full rebuilding season.

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“When I was moved to the bullpen, my personal goal was to be a closer,” Greene said. “That happened faster than I was expecting. But, like I said, I want to win. If I am the long guy on a winning team, that’s fine with me.

“As long as I have a role in the big leagues and competing every day and we’re winning, that’s all that matters.”

Earlier in the season, Greene was being used as a multiple-inning reliever, between the fifth and eighth innings, whatever the situation called for. He would be open to that again next season, as well.

“I liked it,” he said. “It’s the same, as far as pitching with the game on the line. I tend to perform better when the game is on the line. I don’t know if it’s because of adrenaline or what. But I do like that role, as well.”

Changes coming

The Tigers aren’t ready to unveil the full plan, but it looks like the protective netting will be expanded at Comerica Park for the 2018 season.

In a short statement from the media relations department, the Tigers’ ballpark operations department is developing plans to expand the netting and that when those plans are finished and approved, a more formal announcement will be made.

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The key is, the extended netting is expected to be in place for next season. Presumably, it would extend to the end of each dugout.

Around the horn

Manager Brad Ausmus, who will not return next season, was asked if he’d been given any directives from the front office to play certain players in these final six games. “No,” he said. “But I am sure they want to see JaCoby Jones and Jeimer Candelario. Those are the two obvious guys they’d like to see play.”

…Pitcher Jeff Ferrell (concussion) threw about a dozen pitches off the mound before the game Tuesday. He still hasn’t been cleared.

…Outfielder Tyler Collins (intercostal strain) was not available Tuesday.

…Ausmus also reiterated he did not expect outfielder Mikie Mahtook (groin strain) to play again this season.