The Kevin Gregg Calm and Other Bullets

kevin gregg cubsI’m excited for Monday, because that’s when I’ll be announcing the details of this year’s Trade Deadline Blogathon. I’ve been working on it for months now, and I think we’re all really going to enjoy it this time around. So, stay tuned!

  • Kevin Gregg entered last night’s game with a two-run lead, and promptly gave up a homer and a double. Cubs fans clenched, but Gregg remained calm. A sac bunt, a play at home, and a deep, deep fly out later, he’d notched his 12th save in 12 chances. The compliments for Gregg after a performance like that were pointed in a way that suggested relief that there’s been a change. “You have a calm because you know he’s not going to implode with walks,” Sveum said, per Sahadev Sharma. “They’re going to have to get their hits to beat him. The times he’s given up a run, they’ve hit the ball, he hasn’t walked guys or those kind of things. He knows if he throws strikes, they gotta get hits to beat him. We’ve seen many closers over the years do a nice job just because they don’t walk anybody.” Given the recent Carlos Marmol DFA, and the obvious issues that came with him at the back of the pen, it’s hard to read Sveum’s comments any other way.
  • Some of that is just after-the-fact narrative, of course. If Carlos Marmol had saved a game in the exact same fashion, we’d probably note how lucky it was that he didn’t blow things (that would-be-game-winning-homer that Nate Schierholtz caught at the way would probably be described differently and discussed much more). Since Gregg has been consistent and reliable, we talk about his calm, steady presence in the face of a tough outing. Also: it’s gotta be the goggles.
  • Although it’s exciting to hear about him making the Futures Game, it’s fair to be concerned about Jorge Soler’s leg at this point. He fouled a ball off of his shin almost two weeks ago, and the injury was not thought to be serious (what else is new?). It hasn’t been healing well, apparently, and he was examined in Chicago yesterday. Not sure of the results, but obviously that doesn’t sound great. Hopefully he doesn’t miss too much more time.
  • Speaking of the Futures Game, Luke mentioned Soler’s and Arismendy Alcantara’s inclusion this morning in the Minor League Daily, and he also mentioned a piece that I want to highlight here as well: you can help get Javier Baez onto the World roster as well with your vote here.
  • Dale Sveum on Starlin Castro’s long-awaited day off this week, per Sharma: “That’s what we’re hoping for, that was part of the day off. Hopefully he had an opportunity to kick back – I didn’t need to pinch hit him or anything last night – he just got to kick back and enjoy the day. So hopefully he gets back to being the player he is.” Castro responded with two hits last night, and another rocket down the line that easily could have been a double if not for a nice play by Aramis Ramirez at third.
  • It sounds like Alfonso Soriano will DH regularly over the six upcoming games in Seattle and Oakland. Hopefully that gets his bat going, as it has in the past.
  • Yesterday was the one year anniversary of Anthony Rizzo’s debut with the Chicago Cubs. Rizzo’s year with the Cubs has been characterized by hot streaks and cold streaks, but the overall performance has been something you’d gladly take from your first baseman.
  • Politics, man. If you are a Cubs fan now, and plan to be a politician in the future, you better be careful how widely you espouse your Cubs fandom – because you’re stuck with it from then on, lest you be called a flip-flopper.
  • The Cubs’ lack of championships is a metaphor for the slow recovery of the economy or something. I’m not as smart as the Wall Street Journal.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

36 responses to “The Kevin Gregg Calm and Other Bullets”

  1. Jp3

    Someone joked on here the minute Soler was pulled from the game he would have to have his leg amputated… ***sigh***

  2. Jp3

    this is the image I have in my head after reading that Soler updatekathy+bates+hobbling+james+caan+in+misery.jpg

    1. Jp3

      ^^^^stress fracture^^^^

  3. Brian

    Not sure what it is or if there is a limit, but I voted for 15 mins. last night for Baez and it never cut me off. Let’s get him in the game.

    1. David

      Same here. Pretty sure i voted like 40 times.

      1. Brian

        I just voted another 50 and it didn’t stop me.

        1. cub4life

          wow when i got into the upper 20′s i really thought it was going to cut me off, but 50…..gotta get back and vote some more before its to late.

          does anyone know where we can find out how the voting is going or do we have to wait til its over?

  4. Spencer

    So, I hope Soler doesn’t play in the futures game.

  5. Rich H

    Don’t know if anyone mentioned it yet but Gregg last night tied the Cubs record of consecutive saves to start a season. The record was held by Randy Myers. After they mentioned it last night I knew he was going to get hit hard. I actually figured that he was going to blow it for sure but he didn’t. Congrats Gregg.

  6. IlliniBone

    Looks like Cubs will be starting 3 left handed outfielders with Soriano DH’ing, wonder when the last time that has ever happened?

    I really like the approach of Ryan Sweeney, any chance he sticks as a regular for next year? At the very least, I think he is a leg up on the 4th OFer spot for next year. Only 28 too, I believe.

  7. ssckelley

    Gregg impressed me last night, he threw a mistake to the first batter but came right back and challenged Weeks. The pitch Weeks hit for a double was a damn good pitch that generally only hot hitters, which he is right now, can get to.

    1. CubsFanSaxMan

      New nickname – “Goggles” Gregg. For Brett.

  8. Mr. Gonzo

    Maybe Gregg has some early-prototype Google glasses/goggles.. giving him a slight competitive edge — from showing scouting reports while he’s preparing his pitch to telling him with heat maps when a player is holding in some nasty gas.. “flatu-metrics”

    1. CubFan Paul

      Pretty soon Google Glass will be Google Eye Contacts…

      1. hansman1982

        Greggles, by Google.

  9. CubsFanSaxMan

    So Brett, with all of the reading/internet searching, etc. that you do, you have time to peruse the Wall Street Journal? I’m mildly impressed!

  10. OregonCubsFan

    Rizzo’s First year stats:
    G – 162
    AB – 622
    H – 169
    2B – 37
    3B – 2
    HR – 27
    RBI – 94
    R – 92
    AVG – .272
    OBP – .336
    SLG – .468
    OPS – .804
    BB – 60
    SO – 119
    SB – 8

    All at the age of 22 and 23 (he’ll be 24 in August). I’ll take that from a rookie any day. He should develop consistency over the next few years and will be a force to reckon with.

    1. Rich H

      I like the stat line other than the k’s but those are going to go down the more AB’s he gets. Real good start lets hope he keeps it up.

      I really like the 66 XBH in 682 PA’s that is almost 1XBH per 10 AB’s which is the ratio of true power hitters. Nice to see.

      1. gocatsgo2003

        His K rate is a hair over 17%… that ain’t too shabby for a young power hitter whose power will likely continue to develop.

        1. Rich H

          I don’t really use the K rate% in my head because of too much time playing APBA as a kid. I do the ratio and that style I am seeing 5k’s on his card (which means 5 times out of 36 chances) . I know it is silly but on young players I still see things that way.

          I think I just showed my age. LOL.

          1. OregonCubsFan

            I was strat-o-matic myself. Which means I’m probably older yet. Sigh.

  11. willis

    Soriano sitting again today. Interesting development.

    1. Required

      I like Soriano I really do but his time has come and gone. The whole lineup looks so much better without him in it.

  12. JulianInTheChi

    OUCH!! Soler has a stress fracture in his leg and out 4-6 weeks. No Futures game

  13. skidrow

    Soler out for 4 to6 weeks fracture from the hit to the shin.

  14. #1lahairfan

    Sori and Castro are going to get it going this week.

  15. Mike

    Of course Soler is hurt. We had to sign the moody, injury-prone guy, not the instantly successful Puig.

    1. Rich H

      Um Puig was the moody problem child. Soler had the “great make up”. Lets not confuse the two. There is a reason why Puig already has a police report.

      1. Mike

        Um, Soler wielded a bat, on his way to the dugout earlier this year. He’s well on his way to not only match Puig in the trouble department, but to fail miserably swinging the same bat at actual pitches, when, or, shall I say, Um, if, he ever gets to the majors. Total bust. Just wait until 2015 when he’s still toiling in AAA.

        1. Justin

          Soler’s not a total bust at allMike. He still has a good chance of success in the majors. But obviously at this point Puig looks to be the much better signing for sure.. Not really much of an argument.

        2. Cedlandrum

          Can’t tell if you are joking or trolling or both.

        3. Ab

          Um, um, derp, if, berdeh

          Who taught mike grammar, a chimpanzee? although this looks more like a cause of failed comprehension and application.

  16. fortyonenorth

    Dude’s played less than a year in MILB, has a Daytona slash line of .281/.343/.467 to go along with 8 home runs and 35 RBIs and was named to the 2013 Futures Game.

    Yep–”fail miserably” and “bust” are the first words that come to mind.

  17. Kyle

    It is a bit funny. I remember when Soler was signed, there was buzz he might *start* at AA. Now he probably won’t get there until 2014.

    1. BT

      That IS funny because…..um…..wait, why is one of the Cubs best prospects getting hurt funny?

      1. Kyle

        It’s a dark humor. If you can appreciate it, it makes being a Cubs fan much more entertaining.

        Like how our biggest accomplishment in the last five years is getting a top-2 farm system, which we only have now because the Cardinals graduated so many awesome pitchers to the big leagues and off the farm rankings.

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