12:02 PM: The preliminary timetable for Greene’s recovery pegs his return at 6-8 weeks, per The Athletic’s Cody Stavenhagen (via Twitter). Greene would almost certainly need time in the minors, and that’s far enough down the line that there are any number of factors that will determine when Greene might actually make his big league debut.
9:06 AM: Tigers top prospect Riley Greene has fractured his right foot, per MLB.com’s Jason Beck (via Twitter). The injury will not require surgery, but he won’t be ready for opening day. Greene is a consensus top prospect in baseball, ranked 4th overall by Baseball America, 5th by MLB.com, and 6th by Baseball Prospectus.
It’s a bummer of a break for the Tigers, who had dreams of seeing Greene take over as their everyday center fielder from day one. Instead, the former number five overall pick will begin the year on the injured list, and there’s no telling when he might be ready. Because he was not on the 40-man roster, however, Greene will not accumulate service time while on the injured list.
Instead, Victor Reyes figures to get a lot more playing time to start the year. He was told that he made the team a couple of days ago, per Evan Woodbery of the MLive Media Group (via Twitter). Reyes posted a .258/.284/.416 line over 220 plate appearances in 2021. The 27-year-old switch-hitter has an 81 wRC+ over 944 plate appearances over his four-year career.
Greene’s potential had helped raise the ceiling for Detroit, turning them into a popular sleeper pick to improve this season, but instead they will turn back to a familiar face in Reyes. Daz Cameron will not be recalled for now, and Derek Hill will not be physically ready for the opener, notes veteran reporter Chris McCosky (via Twitter).
That leaves Reyes as the likely regular in center, especially since Akil Baddoo is currently slated to start in left field. The other potential configuration would put Baddoo in center with Eric Haase or Harold Castro seeing some time in the outfield.