Kevin Gregg Bringing Dubious Talent To Los Angeles Dodgers Bullpen In 2013

By Thom Tsang
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

That, of course, would depend on a subjective take on what talent is, anyway.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have been adding to their increasingly large bullpen mix for Spring Training, and Kevin Gregg is the latest former MLB reliever looking to make a return from the unemployment line.

How he got there, though, is probably the reason why he might not get too far. It was only 2011 that the Goggled One found himself with a two-year, $10 million deal to be the Baltimore Orioles‘ closer, and by September of 2012, he was out of a job.

During that time, Gregg was one of the worst relievers (let alone closers) in the game, with a -0.4 fWAR that put him at the bottom 10 among his peers, and an AL-worst 5.57 BB/9 and 1.66 WHIP. If you’re a fan of watching relievers hand out walks, the right-hander was practically an artist.

Still, that’s a veteran pitcher with 144 saves on his resume. There’s no real harm in giving him a look, right?

Sure. Although, that he recorded so many saves is exactly why saves alone should not be considered an evaluation tool for pitchers’ performances. That is, unless you believe that your closer ought to walk as many batters as they strike out (1.33 K/BB in 2011), and have a career WHIP over 1.38.

Yes, Gregg was a closer for five years, and he was bad as his job more often than he was good during that time. I suppose you could call it inconsistency, but I’d choose a harsher word than that. Call it a personal grudge for him stinking up the mound for the Toronto Blue Jays for a full season.

Sorry, Dodgers fans, but the 34-year old’s notable saves total also comes with 35 blown saves, and that he has a penchant to hand out free passes without elite strikeout ability to alleviate that isn’t exactly going to endear himself to the team. Mark Lowe is also gunning for a spot on a minor-league deal, and at least he has the ability to throw hard enough to make a difference, if healthy.

Gregg, on the other hand, has the distinguishing ability to be a roller-coaster ride every time he takes the mound. That makes his minor league deal with the Dodgers a puzzling low-risk, low-reward venture.

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