Detroit Tigers’ Riley Greene returns to center field at Fenway Park. Here’s why

BOSTON — Detroit Tigers outfielder Riley Greene made a notable return to center field on Thursday at Fenway Park, marking his first appearance in the position for the 2024 season. The decision to place Greene in center field was a strategic one, as playing at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, poses unique challenges for outfielders.

Center field at Fenway Park is known for its difficulty due to the presence of the Green Monster, a towering wall that extends from the left-field corner to the beginning of center field. Additionally, the center field triangle to the left of the home bullpen creates unusual angles in the deepest part of the park. Tigers manager A.J. Hinch emphasized the importance of overlapping players’ strengths with the specific demands of each ballpark configuration.

Greene’s selection for center field at Fenway Park over other outfielders like Matt Vierling was a calculated decision by Hinch to strategically position defenders and maximize coverage across the outfield. Despite primarily playing in left field this season, Greene has previous experience in center field at Fenway Park, having played three games there in 2022 and two games in 2023.

Known for his defensive prowess, Greene has showcased his skills in center field with several highlight-reel catches throughout his MLB career. Despite his comfort in left field, Greene expressed enthusiasm about the opportunity to play center field again and lead the outfield defense.

In other Tigers news, right-handed reliever Shelby Miller continues his rehab assignment with Triple-A Toledo as he works his way back from ulnar nerve inflammation. Miller’s progress and return to form are crucial for the Tigers’ bullpen strength, with the team prioritizing his readiness and confidence before his return to the major league roster.

As the Tigers navigate their roster and field configurations to optimize performance, Greene’s return to center field at Fenway Park underscores the team’s adaptability and strategic decision-making in pursuit of success on the field.

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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Tigers put Riley Greene in center field in Boston? Here’s why