Green Could Provide Added Depth

Making the switch from the Devil Rays to the Yankee organization can result in mixed emotions. The same can be said for Nick Green who has become the newest member of the Columbus Clippers. On Friday, Green sat down with us to discuss his thoughts regarding his fresh start with the Yankee organization.

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Nick Green, 27, acquired from Tampa Bay for cash considerations on May 25th, split the 2004 season with Atlanta and Triple-A Richmond, as well as Tampa Bay for the entire season in 2005. Last season, the middle infielder struggled with the Devil Rays posting a .239 average with 5 home runs and 29 RBI's in 111 games. His best season was in 2004, hitting .377 in 22 games with Richmond and .273 in 95 games for Atlanta.

A fresh start with a new ball club is never a bad thing and Green is excited about the opportunity of a new beginning and is willing to do whatever it takes to contribute. Playing with Tampa Bay can often times question the ability to win and now at least for the time being, Green has a chance to break into New York and achieve his ultimate goal of winning a ring.

Green told PinstripesPlus.com, "I'm excited because it's a new start for me. Anytime you get off to a rough start, a new one is always a good thing."

Green is not the type of player who is going to attract a lot of attention or focus himself in the limelight. He is the ultimate team guy who will sacrifice himself at any moment during a game for the sake of winning. Big league money is a great thing, but winning is a far greater reward and Green would agree.

Green does not worry about making the jump to the Bronx from Columbus, at least not yet. Obviously, a player previously playing at the major league level has the thought creep into their head at times, however, making a contribution with the Clippers or the Yankees seems to be his only focus at this point.

"I'm willing to do whatever it takes to help somebody win. Whatever they want me to do is what I will do," said Green.

In order for Green to make it back to the big leagues, improvement from a year ago in Tampa Bay, as well as the beginning of this season, is going to be extremely vital. Although he should look to improve all phases of his game, a focus to improve his bat may be a concentration he should look towards above all else. Green agrees.

"I need to get my hitting more consistent. Last time in 2005 and the beginning of this year I've really been struggling and I'm just trying to get back to where I need to be," said Green.

As much as Green is excited about getting a fresh start with a new organization, it's a fresh start in the minor leagues as opposed to being up with the Yankees. Even with the Bronx being his ultimate destination, Green acknowledges he is appreciative of the chance to play everyday in Columbus to work out the kinks in his game, making him a better baseball player in the long run.

"It's something you don't want to do but it's something that is definitely beneficial for me. I wasn't going to get the playing time that I needed to get and I needed to get back on track here playing. I feel like I'm making strides getting back where I need to be," said Green.

It's tough to determine what Green is going to bring to the table here in 2006. Friday night, in a mini-doubleheader which included the conclusion of a suspended game from the night before, he provided a little bit of everything, accumulating three hits, providing solid defense at shortstop, and showing he has the ability to bring speed to the ball club with a stolen base.

Green admits he hasn't heard any expectations that may be desired throughout the organization. Being under the radar may be good for him as pressure comes with the territory of high expectations and anything Green can provide to the club will be an added bonus.

Even with a Clipper outfield that has struggled mightily with the bat, Green expresses confidence in his teammate's ability to bounce back and doesn't believe he needs to provide any sort of spark to the team.

"I don't think that one person is the answer. We have good players and I think that everybody will come around," said Green.

It's hard to imagine Green receiving considerable playing time in the middle infield in New York with the likes of Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano, however, nothing is expected and with a Yankee bench being so depleted from injuries, any added depth to the club would be very appreciative. One thing that is for sure is that Green has another opportunity to perform in the big leagues and the middle-infielder is poised to make any and all sacrifices for the organization.

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