Greene Excited about New Start with Astros; His Playing Time Disappearing, He Gets Dealt for Player to Be Named Later or Cash

Article excerpt

At the end of a frustrating tenure with the Cardinals that included annual attempts to translate his clear potential into consistent production, former first-round pick Tyler Greene could not hide how he felt about being traded to Houston on Thursday.

Even he realized a repeated word betrayed him.

"I'm excited. I'm excited for a fresh start and a new opportunity. I'm excited to go down and contribute and play," Greene said. "I'm excited about what's out there. I know I've said 'excited' 20 times."

The Cardinals' Tyler Greene Experience, which featured bursts of splendid talent surrounded by extended struggles and periods of inactivity, ended Thursday morning when he was shipped to the Astros for a player to be named later or cash. Greene, who will turn 29 next week, will be reunited with Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow, who headed the Cardinals' scouting when they made the shortstop the 30th overall pick in the 2005 draft. The Astros claimed Greene off waivers earlier this week, and rather than pull him back the Cardinals agreed to a trade.

The Cardinals played with 24 players on the active roster Thursday while Class AAA Memphis was in transit all day from a West Coast road trip. The club promoted shortstop Ryan Jackson, who will join the team for tonight's game at Philadelphia.

A day after committing a pivotal error and striking out twice in the Cardinals' 15-0 loss to San Francisco, Greene packed his gear to join Houston, where he'll get regular playing time, often at shortstop. It's an opportunity he never seized and irregularly had with the Cardinals.

"He's got all the talent in the world to be a successful major- league player," Luhnow told reporters in Houston. "He's shown flashes of having success in St. Louis. ... Hopefully, he'll feel like he's got an opportunity here to do that in a little bit more relaxed atmosphere and show us what he's capable of doing."

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny attempted to create a nurturing atmosphere for Greene, who had yo-yoed from the minors to the majors in previous years. Matheny began by trumpeting Greene's ability through the winter. The organization geared the competition for starting second baseman toward Greene, providing him with the largest share of playing time during spring. …


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