Shane Greene was pitching well through five innings on Friday night against the Cardinals but he would not make it to the sixth. After tossing five shutout innings, according to MLive.com's Chris Iott, Greene left the game as a result of "mild ulnar neuritis," which occurs when a nerve is "compressed in the elbow."
Greene's early departure may have resulted from a sudden tingling of the hand just 74 pitches into his start. Once the nerve is pinched, hands can also become weak or numb. Detroit plans to reevaluate Greene on Saturday before making a decision with regard to his roster spot.
Although Greene had not allowed a run, St. Louis had several opportunities before his departure. He was hit notably hard but was able to pitch out of a few jams, allowing five hits and walking two while also striking out four. Greene had stranded eight runners over his five frames and departed with the Tigers leading by a pair of runs which turned into a 5-0 Detroit lead in the seventh.
Greene, 26, has posted a 4.71 ERA and 3.47 FIP in 42.0 innings to this point in 2015. He thrived with the Yankees last season, posting a 3.78 ERA and 3.73 FIP in 78.2 innings. Greene underwent Tommy John surgery in 2008 and as a result the Tigers may be cautious moving forward.
If the Tigers feel Greene is unable to make his next scheduled start, lefty Kyle Ryan or right-handed prospect Buck Farmer are potential options to take his spot in the rotation. Ryan, 23, has posted a 4.17 ERA and 3.37 in 41.0 innings with Triple-A Toledo. He made a brief appearance with the Tigers in 2014, pitching to a 2.61 ERA in 10.1 innings. Farmer, 24, has posted a 3.32 ERA and 2.33 FIP in 38.0 Triple-A innings. Both could have success in Detroit's rotation until Greene returns if a stint on the disabled list is necessary.