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Buck Showalter on Kevin Gregg: “I think you will see him get better as we go on”

Apr 17, 2012, 10:47 AM EDT

Kevin Gregg Reuters

Kevin Gregg‘s latest ugly outing, in which he allowed three runs while recording one out, inflated his ERA to 12.27 and caused our own Matthew Pouliot to wonder how much longer the Orioles can possibly stick with the veteran right-hander.

Buck Showalter was asked exactly that by Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com and the manager replied:

I can’t sit here and say nonchalantly that there’s not something to it. But Kevin’s pitched in different roles in his career, I know Kevin and he just wants to contribute and do whatever, we’ve talked about this and I think you will see him get better as we go on.

Showalter is seemingly saying that because Gregg has been used as a closer in the past that’s causing him to struggle in a non-closer role, which is especially silly considering Gregg has always been mediocre regardless of his role and was never well suited for the closer job in the first place.

Gregg saved 20-plus games in five straight seasons prior to this year and in those five seasons he posted a 3.89 ERA with 4.7 walks per nine innings and a homer every 10 frames. That includes a 4.37 ERA and nearly as many walks (40) as strikeouts (53) in 60 innings last season, which along with the fact that Gregg is 34 years old provides a pretty simple explanation for his struggles.

Gregg was stripped of closing duties because he pitched poorly and now he’s pitching very poorly in a non-closer role. If not for his still being owed $6 million as part of a misguided two-year, $12 million deal the Orioles probably would have gotten rid of Gregg already.

  1. proudlycanadian - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    The rest of the league says keep sending him out to pitch please.

    On a different note, compare Schowalter’s comments with those by Valentine regarding Youkilis. Who would you rather perform for when you are having a tough time?

  2. randomdigits - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    It will be interesting when Wada is ready to come off the DL. Gregg is the obvious person to dump for him.

    I think the O’s kept him around hoping he would pitch well enough to get some salary relief from another team but I don’t think that is a realistic outcome at this point.

    • dowhatifeellike - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:36 PM

      O’s need a long guy out of the pen. I think replacing Gregg with Wada would be the best move.

  3. mianfr - Apr 17, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    I think that’s Showalter’s say of he won’t have an ERA quite as bad as 12 forever without hurting Gregg’s feelings too much.

    • 14thinningstretch - Apr 17, 2012 at 3:24 PM

      If Gregg really works at it, he might get his ERA down into the low 11s by the end of the season.

  4. deathmonkey41 - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    Did he say that with a straight face?

    • ptfu - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:34 PM

      Of course not. Exactly WHO does Showalter think will see Gregg get better?

      “In case you haven’t noticed, and judging by the attendance you haven’t…”

  5. pisano - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    ” I think you will see him get better as we go on ” Buck, I don’t think he could get much worse. I think Buck is a good manager, but if you don’t have the cards you can’t win the pot.

    • Old Gator - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:26 PM

      I watched him for a couple of years with the feesh. Proudlycanadian, with the Feather Lice. Believe me, he can get worse. Much worse. It’s a situational thing.

  6. steviep23 - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    That’s an easy thing to say cause right now he couldn’t be any worse. I wouldn’t put him in if I had 5 run lead.

  7. joeflaccosunibrow - Apr 17, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    The only way this tool bag gets better is if his jersey says “Keys” on the front of it!

    • psuravens19 - Apr 17, 2012 at 4:24 PM

      Tool bag… haha. For some reason I find that funny.

  8. dowhatifeellike - Apr 17, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    I just can’t understand how this guy has a “bulldog” mentality while he nibble at the corners. As big as the strike zones have been this season you’d think he could get it done, but throwing consistently 4-5″ off the plate is still a ball no matter how many times you put it there.

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