Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Kevin Gregg is out as the team’s closer, following a spectacularly awful 4-run 9th inning last night against the San Diego Padres.
Manager Lou Piniella said he would make the change on Tuesday, but declined to say who would fill the role the rest of the season.
Gregg stared into his locker for a long time after the game, and blamed himself for failing to do the job.
“It’s just making stupid mistakes,” Gregg said. “Seeing something in a hitter and not executing it when you see it. Knowing a game plan you have for a hitter, and not doing it. That’s basically it.” Hardball.
For the Cubs to make the playoffs, they need an effective Kevin Gregg, even if it isn’t in the closer’s role. Hopefully he takes the move to heart, and pitches his best in a late-inning role.
As for his replacement, Carlos Marmol and Angel Guzman are the likeliest suspects, but I’d be shocked if Marmol gets the nod. He’s walked 52 batters and hit 11 (which leads the league) in just over 55 innings. That means he gives up MORE than one free runner every single inning. Sure, nobody can hit him – but far too often against Marmol this year, you don’t have to.
Piniella may elect to simply go by committee for a while (my vote).