By Robert Held
The New Britain Bees were added to the Atlantic League in part to help players get back with Major League Baseball teams or their minor league affiliates. For Nick Greenwood, that is exactly what has happened.
Greenwood’s contract has been purchased by the Minnesota Twins. He has been sent to the Twins AA affiliate the Chattanooga Lookouts.
“My job here is to pitch as well as I can, and if I do, opportunities will come. If it’s meant to be, it will be,” said Greenwood right before signing with the Twins.
Bees manager Stan Cliburn seems pleased that Greenwood will be moving on to a bigger stage.
“Greenwood had an excellent start for us and, we’re very excited for him, we wish him the absolute best with the Twins organization,” said Cliburn.
It is no surprise that Greenwood was grabbed by a major league organization. He was leading the Atlantic League with a 0.00 ERA. In three starts for the Southington Connecticut native, he pitched 19 scoreless innings with 17 strikeouts.
Greenwood is the second Bees player to have his contract picked up by a major league team this season. Before the Bees season even began, pitcher Eric Fornataro’s contract was purchased by the Baltimore Orioles.
Originally drafted in 2009 by the San Diego Padres, Greenwood has appeared in 20 major league games for the St. Louis Cardinals during the 2014-15 seasons. The 28-year-old went to college at the University of Rhode Island before spending part of five years at the AAA level and three years at the major league level.
Fellow Bees starting pitcher Cole Johnson is now the Atlantic League leader in Earned Run Average at 0.47.
It has been a long climb back for Greenwood, who was brought up to the Cardinals in 2015 before being designated for assignment in September. At the beginning of this year, he signed a minor league contract with the Chicago Cubs, and was invited to spring training. However, the Cubs released him in March and he was then signed by the Bees last month.