What Will Taylor Green's Role Be on the Brewers?

By now, I think most of us know just how good Taylor Green's season in Nashville has been.  It's been his best season as a professional--better than his 2007 campaign in A ball, when he won the Brewers' Minor Leaguer of the Year.  He's hitting .334/.413/.575 with 21 HR, 71 R, and 85 RBI in 119 games for the Sounds.  In addition, it seems apparent that he is finally completely healthy and his wrist is completely healed following two mediocre seasons in AA Huntsville. 

By now, you also probably know that Taylor Green has been called up to the Major Leagues--his first time in the majors, by the way--while Tim Dillard was sent to Nashville.  Many Brewers fans had been calling for Taylor Green to be called up the last few months, with the strongest calls coming during Casey McGehee's massive struggles over a multiple month period.  Now, after a trade for Jerry Hairston Jr. and with McGehee playing better (a .279/.344/.500 August line is more on par with his career numbers thus far), the timing seems a little odd for Green to be called up.

The obvious explanation is that the Brewers made this move in anticipation of their post-season roster.  A player has to be on the 25 man roster by September 1 to be eligible for the playoffs (barring all the injury rules), so getting Green on the roster now gives the Brewers options.  The optimist in us can hope that Green will be a part of the playoffs, replacing a Yuniesky Betancourt or Josh Wilson.  Unfortunately, as ecocd pointed out, the more likely scenario is that this move was made so Green would be the player left off the roster in favor of Rickie Weeks when he makes his return.  Postseason roster rules dictate that a returning position player must take the place of a position player who was on the roster by September 1.  Thus, it's likely Green was added just to serve as the player to be dropped from the roster for Rickie.  Could it be possible that the Brewers want someone who can actually swing a bat on the bench during the playoffs and keep Green over Yuni or Wilson or Kotsay?  Maybe, but they haven't been inclined to do that so far this year so I'm not expecting them to see the light now.

So what will Green's role then be for the next month?  Honestly, he probably should be one of the first pinch hitters off the bench if not starting a couple times a week as well.  Sure, he's put up the best numbers of his career in Nashville, which is in the notoriously hitting friendly PCL, but his MLE is still .289/.355/.478, which, really, is pretty great and is much, much better than anything else the Brewers have on the bench right now.  Of course his MLE shouldn't be bible and he might not produce that much--it's probably not even likely.  But with the Brewers nearly ten games ahead in the division right now it makes sense to give Green some work to see what he can give to the team.  If not for this year and the postseason, then for the future. 

Green won't be the only player from Nashville on the roster in a few days.  Once September 1 rolls around and rosters expand, we should see a pinch-running specialist from AA, a third catcher, a glut of relievers, and Mat Gamel.  The important one there for Green is Gamel, who has always been the more highly regarded prospect and is the one player who has matched Green's offense this year.  Gamel will also, like Green, step in as one of the better options to pinch hit in September.  Then again, maybe the organization's choice of Green over Gamel to come up now shows that they actually prefer Green at this point, regardless of whether Green is in the postseason or not. 

Of course, what will end up happening is Green will be the fifth hitter off the bench at best, receive a few pinch hits in blowout games, and be left off the postseason roster.  That is the most likely scenario, after all.

Oh well.  Dare to dream.

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