Riley Greene Will Be Ready For Opening Day Following Tommy John Surgery, But His Injuries Are Starting To Scare Me

Crisis averted...kinda. For a player who is so young, Riley Greene has already had to deal with his fair share of serious injuries. Before he even played a game in the Major Leagues, he suffered a broken foot in Spring Training. He had a stress reaction in his leg that caused him to miss six weeks earlier this season. His 2023 campaign came to an end after injuring his elbow following a diving catch. 

When Riley Greene is on the field for the Tigers, he's an electric player. He's one of those guys who makes everyone in the lineup better. He sees a lot of pitches, and outside of the fact that he has a tendency to be a ground ball machine, he's gotten better in that department. When he lifts the baseball, he's a dangerous hitter. I really do think that he can be a star in this game. While he doesn't have the natural athleticism that Corbin Carroll does, I feel like I could see him putting up similar numbers. While he doesn't grade out to be an elite corner outfielder, he's more than serviceable, and he can make spectacular plays when he wants to. There is one thing that gets in Riley Greene's way, and that's his availability. I'm starting to have some serious concerns. 

I desperately hope that my concern is unwarranted. Greene will be ready to go by Opening Day 2024, but we're talking about a player who isn't even 25 years old yet, and he's already suffered three major injuries. And I usually have a lot of leeway with the stuff. There's a big difference between guys who consistently get injured and guys who are injury-prone. I'm not that concerned if a player misses a few weeks because they pulled a hamstring running down the first baseline. But we're talking about three major injuries that Riley Greene has had to deal with.

In general, players don't get healthier the older they get. As good as Greene has been when he's played, he is yet to play an entire season at the Big League level. He got called up in late June 2022, and while he was on the Opening Day roster this year, he missed a significant amount of time.

Say what you will about Greene's counterpart, Spencer Torkelson. He has turned it around and put together a really good sophomore season, but his number one trait is that he's been available every day. When you're in your early 20s at the big league level, I feel like you must be playing in a lot of games. If the injuries add up when you're young, it ain't going to get that much better the older you get.


I hope that all the serious stuff is out of the way. If that's the case, then Riley Greene could be an All-Star caliber player in this league. But we're one serious injury away from questioning whether or not he's a legitimate long-term piece of the future. I know some people are going to jump on my ass about that. When he plays, he's going to be a remarkable ballplayer. I hope to laugh at my concerns one day. The goal next year should be to get a full season out of Riley Greene. If we do, this Tiger team could surprise a lot of people.