Chicago Cubs fans weren’t very happy with relief pitcher Kevin Gregg during his first stint with the Cubs in 2009. Now in his second time around as a Cub, Gregg has brought a little more hope with him to the mound when he’s called upon to close out a game.
After Monday’s win against the San Diego Padres, Gregg is now 4-for-4 in save opportunities in 2013. He hasn’t even given up a run in six appearances. Is this really the same guy we saw four years ago that lost the closer position to Carlos Marmol? Surprisingly, it is.
So why the sudden change in Gregg’s pitching? It might have something to do with manager Dale Sveum‘s new approach to closing out each game: using a closer-by-committee. The closing role has mostly alternated between Gregg and Marmol and so far, and Gregg has been the better player.
Dare I say it, but could the Cubs be looking at making Gregg their permanent closer? Probably not just yet.
Let’s remember that Gregg had an absolutely horrendous career with the Baltimore Orioles, giving up 29 runs in 2011 and another 24 in 2012. Does that sound like the promising closing pitcher the Cubs are looking for? I didn’t think so.
Maybe Gregg is having a more successful season because of Sveum’s approach, but I really don’t see Gregg becoming a permanent fixture in the Cubs’ bullpen. I don’t see Marmol regaining the closing role either. So who’s left?
Kyuji Fujikawa needs to become to closer as soon as he comes back from the disabled list. Until the promising Japanese pitcher returns, Gregg will have to do.