LAKELAND, Fla. — What had been one of the best at-bats in Riley Greene’s case to show he’s ready for the Majors might well end up slowing his chances to crack the Tigers’ Opening Day roster. Detroit’s gifted outfield prospect left Friday’s game against the Yankees with an apparent leg injury after tripling and scoring against Yankees ace Gerrit Cole at Joker Marchant Stadium.
No injury was immediately announced by the team. Greene was seen hobbling down the right-field line towards the Tigers’ clubhouse with a member of the Tigers’ athletic training staff at the end of the third inning.
Minutes earlier, Greene had legged out a triple on a 404-foot drive to the center-field fence leading off the bottom of the third inning. The Tigers’ No. 2 prospect had fouled off a Cole curveball and a 96 mph fastball to stay alive with a 1-2 count before centering a changeup.
Greene waited on third base as Spencer Torkelson and Tucker Barnhart drew walks to load the bases. Cole nearly escaped the threat, striking out Akil Baddoo and retiring Victor Reyes on a pop-up to short, but a hard-hit ground ball from Javier Báez down the third-base line sent runners in motion.
Greene took off from third as Yankees third baseman DJ LeMahieu made a diving stop and threw to second. The throw was off-line as Greene scored, but Greene apparently tweaked something in the process.
Greene, MLB Pipeline’s No. 5 overall prospect, has been one of the top storylines of Tigers camp as he tries to earn a starting job in center field for Opening Day. The 21-year-old is batting 9-for-21 (.429) in Grapefruit League play with three doubles, two triples, two home runs and four RBIs.